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New York City is a mostly vile place. Daily scenery mainly consists of rats and trash bags, with the occasional gift of a sunset’s stray beams leaking between buildings. Last week I went to a music event in a hotel and paid $7 for a bottle of water (sparkling). When walking past 44th street the other day, a scraggily old man half my height tried landing left and right hooks on my hip flexors. But by digging beyond the piles of shit that so readily present themselves, there lie institutions that make it all worthwhile. Molasses Books is one of those places.
Independent and exceptionally quaint, it sits at 770 Hart St in Bushwick, a few blocks down from Maria Hernandez Park. The walls are lined with used books, and in the back stands a small bar, offering wine, beer, coffee and tea at reasonable prices (plus the tap water is free). Constructed and operated–as in shelves sanded and screwed, drinks poured and tabs closed–by owner Matt Winn, Molasses has been hosting readings for the better part of a decade. We are ecstatic to be holding our first reading there.
For those in the area looking to attend, expect to hear Gladys Knight and Luh Tyler on the same playlist, expect to talk and drink and make awkward advances toward the bar and bathroom, to step outside and meet your next best friend (or enemy), and to listen to the wonderful batch of writers we’ve gathered (myself omitted). Scathing criticism and bold personal paragraphs will be projected for all to hear. Cigarettes will be inhaled, Preisdente’s guzzled. It will be sweaty and our feet will hurt but I would love for us to endure this together. The place closes at midnight and Matt said we could party all night long. Maybe there will be magic in the air, or maybe just dust and humidity. Who knows! Only one way to find out.
For those not able to make it: we will be livestreaming the event on Instagram, so hop on your phones to observe a bunch of Twitter-addicted humans trying to mingle with each other. And to see Jayson, Kiana, Anna and myself read aloud like it’s story time. STORY TIME: this also would have been a good name for the reading.
Anyways, it cannot be denied that this is a thing that we are doing. Hope to see you there!