The Newsstand, a truly underground zine store that operated out of the subterranean passageway between the Lorimer L and Metropolitan G train stations, has sold its last pamphlet.
The project was the first iteration of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s pop-up store initiative, which rents small spaces throughout the subway system to artists for short periods of time. The Newsstand lasted seven months, far longer than the organizers at the art group Alldayeveryday had anticipated.
“We expected it to be open for one month, but it was successful, so we kept rolling it over and rolling it over for six more months,” said Clara Goldfarb, a producer at Alldayeveryday.
The shop, which paid $4,000 per month for the nook, sold self-published, limited-run periodicals, artisanal snacks, and art and entertained straphangers with gizmos, including a condom dispenser re-purposed to vend tiny pamphlets. Goldfarb declined to say how much the stand made.
The store’s inventory was curated by Lele Saveri, who is the founder of the 8-Ball Zine Fair. He brought in widely distributed, niche magazines such as The Gourmand, Tissue, and 032c, as well as photocopied and otherwise handmade titles.
“Kid would drop off so many zines,” said Goldfarb. “We had so many that we eventually had to stop taking them.”
The Newsstand may have packed it in, but it achieved its main goal, which was to introduce straphangers to the vast world of zines, according to Goldfarb.
“It took a few months, but they started accepting us as part of the landscape and started engaging,” she said. “It was a perfect platform.”
Alldayeveryday just finished a run of a pop-up zine store at the Los Angeles Art Book Fair, according to a spokeswoman.