Social Justice

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An Especially Cold Winter Lies Ahead For NYC’s Homeless

The Bowery Mission. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Earlier this month, MTA track inspectors came upon the remains of a middle-aged man in a subway tunnel near the Wall Street station. Officials suspected the deceased was a homeless person electrocuted by the third rail while seeking refuge underground. As temperatures drop, more and more New Yorkers are reportedly seeking shelter in the tunnels, illuminating the complex difficulties of contending with homelessness in the cold amid a pandemic. More →

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Activist Bookstore Bluestockings Has Reopened and ‘A Lot of Magic Is Happening’

(Above photo courtesy of Bluestockings, others by Pooja Salhotra)

“Pretty much every place I go, I look for the anarchist bookstore,” says Jason Dean, who wears dark-rimmed glasses and a black winter jacket. Dean fumbles with his new purchase, Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story collection The Unreal and the Real, and explains to me that he’s on a cross-country road trip. Dean started from his home in Washington State and is now making his way down the Atlantic coast in a camper van. Thursday is his last day in New York, and he doesn’t miss the opportunity to stop into the new location of Bluestockings, a radical bookstore, café and activist center that, for many, is a Lower East Side institution.   More →

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NYC Gift Shops Mix Business With Politics, Sometimes at a Price

(Photo via @lockwoodshop on Instagram)

Since it opened in 2017, Lockwood Paper has stocked political-themed cards and trinkets alongside the usual greeting, Get Well Soon, and holiday cards. Walk into the Astoria stationery shop today and you might find a scented candle that claims to smell like “Is it over yet?”—a reference both to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly high-stress political battleground in the U.S. There are items bearing an image of Kamala Harris with the phrase “Stay Nasty,” and “2020” stickers printed with a cartoon-style rendering of a dumpster fire—a best-selling graphic across products ranging from birthday cards to tea towels. More →