Bookish Browsing

Chumley’s

86 Bedford Street
Manhattan

After a decade-long hiatus, Chumley’s, the former Greenwich Village speakeasy of choice for many a poet and playwright, reopened last year. It’s a bit higher-end these days, but the book jacket decor is back. For more information, visit chumleysnewyork.com.

Courtesy of Chumley's

The Cloisters Museum & Garden

99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park
Manhattan

Head uptown to the Cloisters for a view of New York that looks more like medieval Europe. Be warned, if you’re from out of state, the admission is now $25. The Met’s newly acquired illuminated Hebrew Bible from fourteenth-century Spain will be on display during Passover. For more information, visit metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters.

Flickr / Mark Chang

Oscar Wilde Bar

45 W. 27th Street
Manhattan

The biggest news in literary bars? The opening of an ostentatious Oscar Wilde-themed hotspot, complete with the city’s longest bar and an array of dazzling artifacts. On the menu: lunch, dinner, and Absinthe Drip. For more information, visit oscarwildenyc.com.

Courtesy of Oscar Wilde

The Algonquin Hotel

59 W. 44th Street
Manhattan

Whether dinner, a drink, or a room for the night, you can’t get much more literary than the legendary Algonquin Hotel. Dorothy Parker and her “Vicious Circle” lunched there; go and raise a glass to them. For more information, visit algonquinhotel.com.

Booklyn Artists Alliance

37 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn

Booklyn is an artist-run non-profit that promotes artists’ books as art. There are exhibitions, events, workshops, and lectures, as well as a portal to buy unique and editioned books, zines, and letterpress productions. For more information, visit booklyn.org.

Bowne & Co. Stationers and Bowne Printers

209-211 Water Street
Manhattan

This “dos-à-dos” establishment is a hidden jewel. Experience the traditional craft of nineteenth-century letterpress in a charmingly atmospheric shop true to its origins. For more information, visit: southstreetseaportmuseum.org/water-street/bowne-printers
and
southstreetseaportmuseum.org/water-street/bowne-co-stationers.

The New York Academy of Medicine Library

1216 Fifth Ave. at 103rd Street
Manhattan

This library is “[h]ome to one of the most significant historical libraries in medicine and public health in the world.” Open during the week by appointment only. For more information, visit nyam.org/library.

Poe Cottage

3309 Bainbridge Avenue
The Bronx

Attention Poe fans! Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849, in The Bronx at Poe Cottage. The landmark house museum is where he wrote “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells,” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” For more information, visit bronxhistoricalsociety.org/poe-cottage.

Printed Matter, Inc.

231 Eleventh Avenue
Manhattan

Vanity Fair called it “the CBGB of Indie Bookstores,” but Printed Matter is much more than that. The shop carries contemporary artists’ books, zines, posters, prints, multiples, and a broad selection of out-of-print material. For more information, visit printedmatter.org.