Village Works Bookstore – a new boutique in the East Village

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At the corner of 1er and E. 3rd, a sandwich sign indicates the way to the west. It reads as follows: Village work. Books. Art. Collaborations. NYC.

As the pandemic wreaked havoc on retail and restaurants – longtime favorites, new businesses and chain branches, now empty storefronts lining Broadway, Bleecker Street and the entire city, when a new store emerges from the ashes pandemic – it’s something to celebrate.

Village Works is a bright old architectural firm, a new bookstore that opened in February and specializes in books on everything New York City, all art genres, and artists creating in New York.

Village Works owner Joseph “Joey” Sheridan loves books that document and celebrate the artistic soul of the city. Acquiring these kinds of books for a while, he amassed a collection and thought to himself, “I should share them with the public. And so the beginnings of a store devoted to all books related to New York culture.

Joseph “Joey” Sheridan, owner of Village Works, rooted in New York street culture>(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Joseph “Joey” Sheridan opened a new store during the pandemic.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

Accustomed to the book world, Sheridan worked at Rizzoli over 20 years ago and later sold used books online with his mother, a business that worked well until Amazon and its free delivery set it up.

Steeped in street culture years ago, he hosted the weekly multi-genre / race dance party -Café Con Leche, then ran the Urban Works gallery showcasing street art on Mulberry Street. But, more recently, when he was considering opening a bookstore, his friends said, “People aren’t interested in New York history and culture. And then a possible window of opportunity opened.

The rich and the students have left the city. The tourists have disappeared. “I realized that the City was still there. The New Yorkers had suffocated him and they left. With COVID, the city was filled with working class people, no deep pockets, trying to survive like me. Covid helped do a reset. ”

There was a revival of street culture by New Yorkers, by those who were trying to adapt to a new environment. Watching street culture was no longer a historical exercise in nostalgia. Rather than communicating corporate America which was the cultural direction of the city in pre-pandemic New York, the city artists were voicing their dreams.

Art in the streets and the city as a canvas – concept and title of all the books carried by Village Works.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
The City as Canvas – art in and on the streets is one of the main subjects of the Village Works bookstore.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

“If I sell books, it must be a niche market,” Sheridan muses, broadening his original concept of offering “Village” artists’ books to all New York creatives. And, starting from 2,000 books from his personal collection, he currently offers 5,000 separate titles, with a growing selection. Sheridan buys self-published books and books at low prices and accepts donations.

Taking advantage of this beautiful space for more commercial activities also makes it possible to pay the rent. “It’s a bookstore and gallery, and we engage in collaborations – clothes scraps (launch parties) – fashion and retail,” Sheridan hoping most of the “collaborators” are supportive of his. mission to promote street culture in New York.

As a gallery, Village Works has mounted seven exhibitions and published catalogs for each, on sale, $ 20. “We have just published our first book by photographer Kurt Boone which is currently on view. The closing night is this Thursday.

“People can come here and know what they’re going to find,” says Sheridan.

A tall, masked young man walks into the shop, having seen the sandwich board on the corner, and immediately finds a book he is buying. “Spy is my artist name,” he says, handing out a postcard with murals he painted in San Francisco.

Art books by New York artists or on collaborating artists and vendors are part of the Village Works modus operandi.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
The bookstore collaborates with street fashion artists.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Catalogs of previous exhibitions are on sale.
Pointing west. At the corner of E.3e and 1er. These sandwich panels let passers-by know that the culture is just down the block – 90 E. 3rd.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Street photographer Meryl Meisler signs copies of her self-published Paradise Lost books which she deposits. Photo by Kurt Boone.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Kurt Boone, at the opening of his exhibition, with his book published by Village Works — Silence of Pandemic: Resilence of a City.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Street photographer Kurt Boone poses with a few of his pals with his book, the first book published by Village Works.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
Ri, whose t-shirts depict a koala, are said to bring joy.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)
In tough times in these times of a pandemic, Ri wants to shine a light on people. May the world be filled with Kaola Love read this sweatshirt.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)


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