Petrella’s Imports

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Last Sunday opens Petrella’s Imports a newsstand initiated by artists Anne Libby, Elise McMahon and Sophie Stone providing a fine selection of zines and newspapers as well as postcards, prepackaged food, umbrellas and cigarettes. Until June 14th, 2013 Petrella’s Imports can be found at Bowery and Canal Street in New York…

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“In the last ten years the New York City newsstand has experienced a massive transformation, undertaken with relative ease. The move extends from a municipal belief that older newsstands cluttered the city streets and were incongruous with a tourist culture in need of reinvigoration. The contemporary solution is a more uniform glass and steel construction built by a single contractor, in a single style. It has now gradually replaced those operated by sole proprietors, whose unique stands often reflected a heightened level of individual taste and character.

One of New York City’s oldest and most celebrated newsstands was known as ‘Petrella’s Point’. It was located at the intersection of Bowery and Canal. Owned and operated by Adam Petrella, for 30 years, its brash red exterior coating and hand painted directions to nearby subways and neighborhoods were well known to those familiar with the area. As a personality, Mr Petrella was a neighborhood fixture, conversing with patrons and often handing out his own drawings of Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Lee to passersby. In 2004, ‘Petrella’s Point’ was removed and replaced by a stand of the newer design.

On this original site, Petrella’s Imports (2013) is conceived as a hybrid reconstitution at a time when the originary purpose of the newsstand as ’source of information‘ wanes. Petrella’s Imports aims to both reimagine the offerings of these nodes of distribution, providing a different solution to their utile problem. An initiative by artists Anne Libby, Elise McMahon and Sophie Stone, Petrella’s Imports works with a large number of creative collaborators in order to assemble a surrogate inventory of items (zines and newspapers as well as postcards, prepackaged food, umbrellas and cigarettes) found typically at commercial newsstands.”
— Petrella’s Imports

Petrella’s Imports
at Bowery and Canal St.
New York

April 14th to June 14th, 2013