Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tonight: Washington Heights & Inwood Photography Opening Reception

Word Up has not been around a long time, yet if there was someone we’d call “a longtime volunteer” then that would be Dj Boy. He’s hardly in any of our photos because he’s often the one behind the camera, taking stills or video, helping us let the rest of the world know what we look like. He’s also been integral in quite literally amplifying work at the store: Dj Boy’s one of the men behind the Washington Heights-based music and entertainment group Music for Daze, and we are grateful we’ve been able to use their PA for some of our events.

Tonight you can see Art by Dj Boy, alongside that of Mike Fitelson, Tony Creative, and Emil Baez, during our opening reception for a month-long photography exhibit featuring images of Washington Heights and Inwood. Bring your friends and family, see our neighborhood from other perspectives, and take the opportunity to mingle with WHIN’s local artists. Starts at 4! Snacks and refreshments will be served.

Check out the teaser trailer:

Open Mic – Sept 30

Photos By Art by Dj Boy

Tonight: La Casa Azul Bookstore FUNraiser

One of Word Up’s most treasured partnerships is with La Casa Azul Bookstore, a 3-year-old online bookstore started by Word Up volunteer Aurora Anaya-Cerda. Now that Aurora is saving up to secure a storefront in East Harlem, La Casa Azul is having a FUNraiser tonight at East Harlem Café, to celebrate the bookstore and the ’40K in 40 days’ campaign, which ends this coming Sunday, October 23.

Meet amazing Latino authors, participate in fabulous raffles, and contribute to the campaign while you hang out with fellow book lovers and campaign supporters.

’40K in 40 days’ FUNraiser!
Friday October 21, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
East Harlem Café, Lexington Ave and 104th Street
Suggested donation: $10

Support our uptown archipelago of community-minded bookstores!

In the bag!

Now that we have a little bit more time in our space at the bookshop, we figured it was time to make proper Word Up shopping bags. If you’ve shopped at Word Up, you’ll know that we have been recycling bags and containers from other stores. And if you’ve ever been so lucky to receive mail from Word Up, you’ll know that we use previously used envelopes. . . . So, of course, our shopping bags will be reusable totes! All the contest details are below. ALSO: whether or not you enter, you’ll have the opportunity to screenprint the winning designs onto bags as part of a screenprinting workshop at the bookshop. Fun times!

Did you miss last night’s episode of CUNY TV’s Independent Sources?

Last night, CUNY TV’s Independent Sources program aired a segment on Word Up, along with local indie bookstore comrades La Casa Azul Bookstore* and Greenlight Bookstore.

Community bookstores are popping up while national chains are fading away:

*Please pledge to La Casa Azul Bookstore’s 40K in 40 Days campaign to open a storefront in East Harlem, so that our uptown book culture can only be strengthened. La Casa Azul Bookstore founder Aurora Anaya-Cerda is also a Word Up volunteer!

Word Up’s extension in The New York Daily News

Washington Height’s Word Up bookstore gets yet another extension to November
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Washington Heights residents just want to read books – and have a place to hang out.

Locals will be able to do both now that the popular Word Up bookstore has been granted its second extension until the end of November, organizers announced this week.

“I’m really relieved,” said volunteer Veronica Liu, who runs the community bookstore on Broadway near W. 175th St.

“We’re here for everyone here and I think that comes through. It’s an open community space.”

Local rapper Nesio looks through the books at Word Up, in Washington Heights. (Craig Warga/News)

But in addition to being a community space that has hosted literary events and performances by more than 200 local artists, the space is also popular among book consumers – even in an age of Kindles, iPads and Nooks.

“We’ve sold over a thousand books, new and used,” said Liu, adding that they also sell books by local authors, who get 100% of the profit.*

Liu believes the massive book sales were a good sign, especially since a bulk of the sales were during the “dead of summer.”

On strong days, the volunteer-run bookstore with limited hours may sell anywhere from 20 to 40 books, which Liu believes defies the notion that “people don’t read books.”

“This [bookstore] can only help to keep defying that,” she said.

“A lot of kids come in to read, too…People want to be able to go somewhere and have a moment. We’re really glad we have the chance to do that.”

The “pop-up” bookstore, an initiative of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, was initially just a one month-long space that was donated by owner Vantage Properties.

After the month-long period from June to July expired, the bookstore was allowed to stay open until the end of September.

Now that the bookstore has been given another two months, Liu and other organizers are focusing on keeping it around permanently – either at the current location or somewhere else in the neighborhood.

“There’s been a real movement to keep us around,” she said.

In the meantime, Liu said, they have plans to expand the kids’ programming and the store’s collection of Spanish language books.

*The donation of 100% profits to authors based in Washington Heights and Inwood lasts through September 30, 2011.