Red Emma’s set to open in Station North
When we toured Red Emma’s new North Avenue location last summer, the collective had just removed the drop ceilings and uncovered the terrazzo floors. It was starting to look good, but they still had a long way to go. When we stopped by last week, Cullen Nawalkowsky was in the process of stocking the ceiling height shelves with books and contractors were engaged in all sorts of activities around the greatly expanded store/ cafe/ meeting space, which will now host Thread Coffee (which is “transparently traded and collectively roasted” in house). The collective now also has a full kitchen and a greatly augmented menu, including far more vegan fare. And did we mention the 30-foot bookshelves?
Red Emma’s will host its first event in the new space tonight (though it will not yet have regular hours), when Mattilda Benrstein Sycamore reads from her new memoir The End of San Francisco.
Kate Drabinski, who is reviewing the book for next week’s issue, gives us a quick preview.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s memoir, The End of San Francisco, opens by recounting her visit with her father as he approaches death. Sycamore is asking for something from him that will help her live—she’s the one who’s going to keep living, after all—but he won’t give it to her, and as readers we are right there, in the moment, all of us—author, words, readers—in the present tense. And then the memoir skips and jumps, taking us from place to place, party to party, need to need to need. There is an intimacy to Sycamore’s writing that makes reading it feel like getting right next to her skin, sniffing, touching, feeling, and opening up ourselves. It is really, really good, and it is all about cultivating precisely this vulnerability, hers and ours, together. For Sycamore, this shared vulnerability might be what we need to survive, to cope, together, holding on to queer dreams in a world that wants queers to disappear.
30 North Avenue. Be there for light refreshments at 7:00, Sycamore’s reading at 7:30.
Tour the new space here.