At last! Some literary folk are scouting locations likely in the East Village or the Lower East Side for a new queer bookstore and café opening in late 2012. It's a mouthful: The Bureau of General Services - Queer Division. To get the store right, they need you to fill out this survey, and to make it useful, you must "please be brutally honest."
Take the survey now. They want your thoughts even if you live outside the NYC area.
Your high enthusiasm for the store will not blind you to the survey's low points. Question #7 is a little simplistic, missing trends in rent increases, queers reading more non-queer books, the long tail, and OWMB being badly stocked:
"7. Why do you think there are no longer any LGBTQ-specific bookstores in NYC? Please check all answers that reflect your opinion.
"Note: A Different Light closed in 2001. Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop closed in 2009. Bluestockings is an excellent resource for queers, but its mission is broader than the mission of a bookstore that specifically seeks to serve LGBTQ communities.
Typically, they want to know your race, gender, zip code, and income. Yet in more than twenty questions on your preferences in book buying and café snacking, they never ask about price. Real people make decisions, in part, based on cost. Anyone opening a bookstore in today's market ought to wonder if their customers demand discounting. Or are you willing to overpay in order to support a physical, browsable queer space? Are you cool with crazy expensive cookies? Do they need to be organic, gluten-free, fair trade, and versatile? Not asked. Instead, the survey wonders, basically, should the store be a Bloomsbury sitting room or a Berlin sex club? Speaking of, they also want to know how important it is to you that the staff and customers look hot. Ruh roh.
"The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is a queer bookstore and café opening in New York City in late 2012. We aim to foster a community invested in the values of mindfulness, intellectual curiosity, justice, compassion, and playfulness. The Bureau seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting reading groups, authors’ talks, and performances. We will provide local and visiting queers and friends with an open and inclusive space for dialogue and socializing. The Bureau of General Services – Queer Division welcomes you."