What is still a big deal along the L train? Weird music, and thankfully so. The assuredly awesome science fiction poetry (!) of free jazz behemoth Sun Ra is collected in Sun Ra: This Planet is Doomed and given an introduction by Amiri Baraka, which is hard to imagine but probably-definitely something worth owning.
Bio: Adam Rathe is a writer who lives in Brooklyn. He's previously worked at The New York Press and The Brooklyn Paper.
The seventh and eighth titles are nods to the neighborhood’s growing number of children and always-high number of recent grads saddled with student loans and gigantic bar tabs: Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon gives us nice retro-childhood feelings, and David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years makes us anxious.
Notwithstanding that red balloon, Miranda July’s cutesy It Chooses You, a book of photos, stories and interviews about her very Miranda July project of investigating who sells things through newspaper ads, is in at No. 9, signaling that perhaps the twee is not as strong in these parts as it once was.
There's a big Barnes & Noble at Warren and Greenwich streets.
It's a liminal neighborhood with trendy, rich Tribeca artsy-types, Wall Street bankers, the massive faction of backoffice employees of, well, every industry, and Suburb-on-Hudson dwellers from the glassy towers of Battery Park City all jostling around in the store. It'd be a confusing mix even there weren't iPad-wielding activists thronging the local businesses from their perch at nearby Zuccotti Park when the Occupy Wall Street library and those jars and jars of Skippy don't quite hit the mark.
So what to make of this week's top-ranked book at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble: Re-sale copies of Aspen Institute honcho Walter Isaacon’s Steve Jobs?
The 25-year-old, artist-run bookshop Printed Matter has jumped from Tribeca to Soho to Chelsea over the course of its life, following the same path as the artists who create the work the shop sells; if it emerged as a pop-up shop one afternoon from the sidewalk outside the Morgan Avenue L station in Williamsburg-Bushwick, nobody would bat an eye.
It’s been almost nine months since we last visited WORD, the teeny Greenpoint bookstore with an expertly curated selection of titles and an Oh, let's pick up a novel for the weekend honey vibe. That's enough time to have a baby, which, it seems, is what much of Greenpoint did.
"It's not just a couple of guys who own a bookstore and want to keep their job," co-owner and co-founder Terry McCoy told the Daily News. "It's an important book store in keeping the identity of the East Village what it is."
We find that to be important justification for our periodic portraits of neighborhoods based on the bestsellers at their local (and, usually, independent) bookstores. So what, in these troubled times, is selling at the shop?