Bluestockings, the collectively operated radical bookstore, cafe, and activist center, has been a Lower East Side staple for over twenty years. Named for the Blue Stockings Society women's political movement of the 18th century, it opened its doors at 172 Allen St in 1999 and has been there ever since (although it did close briefly in 2001), expanding into a vacated space next door and doubling in size in 2005. Now, however, Bluestockings will be departing from that space and searching for a new one. "We did not expect to ever be writing a statement like this," they write. "Due to so many unforeseen circumstances both pandemic-related and otherwise, we must leave our current location at 172 Allen St. in search of a new, more sustainable, accessible and safer home."

"Though we wish we were making this decision on our own terms," they continue, "our decision has been forced by the demands of our landlord for more money and by their inaction on necessary repairs to the structural damage our wild little slice of space has endured over these last 21 years."

Read their full statement below:

Friends, comrades, fierce lovers of radical spaces to reimagine our world,

We did not expect to ever be writing a statement like this. Due to so many unforeseen circumstances both pandemic-related and otherwise, we must leave our current location at 172 Allen St. in search of a new, more sustainable, accessible and safer home.

This is not goodbye. This is “wait for our new location announcement,” hopefully soon. The facts are: we have outgrown our space and we want features that better accommodate and center our disabled collective and community. We want ramps and bathrooms and ventilation and chair lifts! We are committed to realizing this for our future home!

Though we wish we were making this decision on our own terms, our decision has been forced by the demands of our landlord for more money and by their inaction on necessary repairs to the structural damage our wild little slice of space has endured over these last 21 years. With so much afire, we’re evermore committed to doing all we can to keep this project alive and rooted at a physical space (such a rarity in NYC). We know our movements need spaces–to share and grow and learn and build alongside each other.

It’s going to be hard, and take a lot of work. But we’re here for it. We humbly ask for your patience and continued support in the coming weeks and months as we relocate, store and continue our virtual programming.

With all our hearts and guts,

The Bluestockings Collective

Bluestocking's virtual programming includes support groups, readings, and themed book clubs (including those focused on feminism and young adult literature).

They also have an online store with sections devoted to intersectional feminism, race studies, queer and gender studies, accessibility, activism, class, labor, and more.