This small secret garden holds exquisite lessons for its privileged visitors.
Brazenhead Books, New York’s secret bookstore /
Above the noise and the bustling streets, Micheal Seidenberg’s bookstore is hiding, which, beyond being an ostentatious finding, has a valuable story to tell. His second-hand bookstore has been described as the “Mecca for book lovers and one of the rarest treasures in New York City”. This is undoubtedly a fascinating —and yet— unknown spot, perhaps one of the last of its kind.
Michael Seidenberg has sold books his entire life. The last embodiment of his store is this, which is not entirely legal since it’s located in a private home, is not open to the general public, and has to remain secret. “Secondhand stores have been erased from the city because of companies like Barnes & Noble”, Michael points out during an interview. “And it’s a lost battle. We lost. I only want to do as much as I can”.
Michael has refused to be interviewed dozens of times, however, fortunately he agreed to one, and now we have a short film musicalized by The Album Leaf, which allows us to enter his treasure cave for three minutes. Directed by Andrew David Watson, this video presents Seidenberg as a truly endearing character, passionate about books. Between sips of whisky and mouthfuls of smoke, Michael tells part of his story as a second-hand book salesman, and tells us how we became one of the nicest secrets of New York.
The only way you can visit this place is by calling Michael and arranging an appointment. His name is in the directory. If you’re lucky enough to go, he’ll probably give you a drink and show you his favourite books and his first editions.
Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from Michael is that living life on your own terms, fighting the battle you have to fight, regardless of “having lost beforehand”, as he puts it. There will always be a place for the remnants of beauty.Tagged: trips and travelers, New York, bookstores, Micheal Seidenberg, Brazenhead Books