What does Fort Greene really need? A bookstore, according to a survey by the Fort Greene Retail Association; some 75 independent bookstores have shuttered their doors since 2000. Now, a 29-year-old Park Slope resident named Jessica Stockton Bagnulo plans to defy the odds and open her own shop there, an endeavor that seems to have the neighborhood summoning community optimism in this time of economic blahs. Bagnulo suffers from a lack of wealthy pals and investors, but not from lack of support. She won a coveted $15,000 prize from Citibank for small businesses, cozied up to other successful indie bookstores in the city and eventually hooked up with the Fort Greene Indie Bookstore Initiative, an offshoot of the Fort Greene Retail Association, the NY Times reports. This week, the group threw Bagnulo a party at BAM, replete with Brooklyn's literary stars, donated booze and sushi. So, now that they've got the hype and the pat on the back by Brooklyn's cultural institutions, all they need is the space. Anybody got an affordable storefront to rent?
A Woman Dreams of Opening Bookstore, Defying Trends [NY Times]
A Rainbow of Books. Photo by Dawn Endico.