I’d like to take a moment to highlight a place I feel deserves a lot of attention for its effort to promote Latino writers and a sense of community in East Harlem through events that stimulate cultural awareness and a love for the arts. La Casa Azul Bookstore is a small independent book store located on 143 E. 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029 and as soon as one enters this quaint shop, it’s easy to see that it’s not your average bookstore.
La Casa Azul Bookstore has a large and colorful mural right by the front door and this unique entryway only hints at the bright and welcoming interior. With a collection of literature for young and adult readers alike, the shop’s primary focus is providing a place where a spotlight can be shone on Latino literature.
While still fairly new, the store is looking to provide a space where the community can feel at home, allowing customers to hold events and share their love for literature, while sipping on coffee and enjoying the backyard and art gallery. The shop is also looking to make a name for itself by holding events that everyone can enjoy! (The image is of their event celebrating Frida Kahlo’s birthday. Ladies were invited to come and don their best Frida looks.)
The store is the dream-child of Aurora Anaya-Cerda, whom I briefly met when I personally visited the store just two weeks ago. When I stopped by, I didn’t know I’d be writing a post about it a few weeks later, but I couldn’t get over the warm feeling I had as soon as I set foot in the door. I left with three new books, a smile on my face and a new appreciation for the impact a friendly smile and a bright environment can have on you!
So, in my humble opinion, if you live in New York City and want to invest some time on a culturally enriching afternoon, not to mention just enjoy a fun and new experience, head over to La Casa Azul. I guarantee you won’t see a store like it anywhere else in the city.
If you’re interested in finding out more about La Casa Azul, the store actually has a Twitter page: @LaCasaAzulBooks
They also have a website where you can find out about events, art exhibits, classes and much more: http://www.lacasaazulbookstore.com/
I also found a few interesting articles online about the store, which is where you’ll find the colorful photographs I’ve featured in this post. Take a look and see if La Casa Azul hits the right literary spot for you 🙂