Best jumping-off point for the burgeoning activist - 2006
When the radical feminist bookstore Bluestockings decided to expand, it reopened with a third more space, longer hours, and a broader vision. No longer chiefly feminist, Bluestockings now offers literature and a sense of community to anyone who is challenging systems of oppression, whether these are based on class, gender, race, or sexual bias. On any given night, you might grab an espresso at the fair-trade café and sit in on a release party for the radical sex-worker magazine $pread, or a presentation by Kate Bornstein, author of Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws, or a film on the Hawaiian independence movement. During protests, Bluestockings is a reliable repository for maps and updates, as well as a ready site for early planning meetings. Other services include carrying nonprofit titles for Books Through Bars with mailing addresses for prisoners; hosting benefits for Picture the Homeless; and presenting regular updates on the legal battle of Green Scare defendant and well-known New York activist Daniel McGowan. Equally important, Bluestockings fosters the energy of burgeoning activists by answering questions and providing referrals and suggestions without attitude. Comfortable bench seats surrounded by zines, pins, patches, T-shirts, homemade DVDs, and free pamphlets make this a pretty cool spot for socially conscious young people to just hang out.