The Secret Speakeasy Manhattan Bookshop

By

24th Jul, 2013

Scroll down to find an update on this story.

brazenhead

Michael Seidenberg once ran a non-secret bookstore in Brooklyn. When he couldn’t afford to pay rent anymore, he moved Brazenhead Books into his three-room apartment on the second floor in upper East Manhattan. It’s been going for eight years.

brazenhead1

Images by Jenna Scherer

As you can imagine, selling second-hand books in secret doesn’t exactly turn a huge profit, but Michael doesn’t sell books for the money. If it’s all about the money, “just sell crack,” says the pipe-smoking bookseller,”That’s a much better business.”

Meet Michael, he’s just as interesting as his secret bookshop…

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/26293855]

As well as selling some beautiful old books, Michael hosts weekly salons, where regulars and new visitors alike can hang out until the early hours of the morning, talking, leafing through books, listening to music and drinking whiskey.

As for the address? Well you can look Michael up in the phonebook. If you have one.

UPDATE: Brazenhead Books is Losing its Lease & Looking for a new Secret Spot

In July, Brazenhead will vacate the premises, having lost its long-term lease.

“A guy offered me a space in this bizarre mansion on Sundays but then I’d have to move my stuff in and out, which is too much work… I am listening to every single offer because I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want. I’m very picky.”

Check out the full interview with Michael Seidenberg about the future of his speakeasy bookshop on The Gothamist.

You can find updates about the salon and Brazenhead Books on Michael’s Facebook page.

 

You might also like

Comments

More in Don't Be A TouristEditor's PicksMy Secret Paris

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

nightclimbers4

The 1930s Secret Cambridge Club of Rooftop Climbers

As night fell on Cambridge University in the 1930s, a dapper gang of undergraduate students regularly met in secret to climb up historical buildings, illegally exploring their campus via its roo...

Trending 1,350
cocaevolution

How a Wine and Cocaine Cocktail became Coca Cola

I think by now most of us have heard the story about our world-famous soft drink, Coco-Cola, once containing a significant dose of cocaine until it was removed from the recipe in 1903. But lesser...

Trending 15,064
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

5 Hidden Paris Enclaves

If you stay in Paris long enough, you'll no doubt end up with your own list of urban secrets. This city is full of them. All Parisians lay claim to favourite hidden spots which they unexpecte...

Trending 15,752
tornade-meteo-photo-ancienne-01 (1)

Fearless Photographs of the First Tornado Chasers

I must have watched the movie Twister nearly 30 times. You could say I was slightly obsessed with the critically-panned 90s blockbuster about storm-chasing starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton...

Trending 6,061
sampuru

The Alluring Art of Fake Food in Japan

They say we first eat with our eyes, and no one seems to understand this better than the Japanese restaurant industry. From a pot of thick gravy mid-pour over a perfectly cooked steak to an ice crea...

Trending 11,859