This summer several art newsstands are bringing independent media to the city streets and subways, with piles of zines and DIY publications offered in the tradition of newsstands. Handsomely constituting a small trend, the newsstands currently installed in New York and Los Angeles are looking to engage a larger public with offbeat media, while still acting like a hub of information and interaction — just like any other newsstand.
Newsstands as these highly individual, cluttered points of information in a personal dialogue with the street have almost totally disappeared from New York City. A huge reason was the raising of annual vendor fees from the hundreds to the thousands in the 1990s, and the replacing of the old booths that reflected the characters who maintained them with new, uniform glass and metal boxes. One of these old newsstands was Petrella’s Point run by Adam Petrella for 30 years at Bowery and Canal Street, and although it was removed in 2004, this past weekend an artist-run newsstand popped-up to bring back its spirit.