Wendy’s Subway is back on the block.  An independent library, reading room and collaborative event space has long been a free haven for Bushwick creatives. Their latest space reopened earlier this month, revealing a new sea of books..

The reopening event gave neighbors old and new a chance to explore the redesigned space and browse through the selection of books, newspapers, and magazines on display. The expansive collection coupled with the newly redesigned, open space established a welcoming environment. The staff helped facilitate new discoveries and created an inclusive atmosphere for those who were new to the community library, which has been around for almost a decade. Beyond the books, Wendy’s also laid out a spread of food and beverages to encourage visitors to indulge in both snacks and open conversation. 

“There’s something special about being able to drop into a space and have an interesting conversation,” Rachel Velinksy, one of the space’s co-founders, told me.

The artist-run space is a unique presence in Bushwick; it’s a place to browse endless catalogs, engage with creatives and partake in events without draining your wallets. The space’s in-person noncirculating library and extensive online catalog make it easy to find a new discovery each time, complemented by a newly-designed reading room that encourages visitors to uncover and discuss the life of books in an expanded way. This month, space plans to highlight books like Kamelya Omayma Youssef’s A book with a hole in it and Na Mira’s The Book of Na, published by Wendy’s through their open-call program. 

Programming at the nonprofit also includes writing workshops, seminars and reading groups that facilitate various dialogues through a creative lens. Wendy’s invites people to take advantage of free resources and sells tickets based on a sliding scale, with a commitment to not turning anyone away for a lack of funds. 

Their newest workshop is called “After Hours”, which began February 20th and revolves around experimental documentaries, led by Valinsky and another of the space’s co-organizers, Kirsten Gill. The workshop invites aspiring moviemakers and enthusiasts to share their work in order to broaden perspectives on new media and experimental film practices: no actual film-making experience necessary. 
To keep up with the library, drop in during open hours, follow them on Instagram @wendyssubway or check their website, wendyssubway.com for information on upcoming events. The five tiered membership opportunities begin at $5 and go up to $100 per month, with benefits ranging at each level, from access to the library to subscriptions to library’s various chapbook and zines series.

Wendy’s Subway is located at 379 Bushwick Avenue.

Images taken by Rachel Velinksy.

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