Strictly Kosher: the Peace Eye Bookstore

In 1965, the Peace Eye Bookstore opened in a former kosher meat market in the East Village; a map printed in John Gruen’s The New Bohemia has it at Tenth Street and Avenue C.

It became a cultural center for the peace-and-love crowd as well as the headquarters for the Fugs, a folk-rock group that played nearby venues like the Astor Playhouse on Lafayette Street and toured nationally.

Later references to the Peace Eye place it on Avenue A; maybe the kosher meat market didn’t work out and they relocated.

In any event, John Gruen describes them this way: “But the Fugs!!!! They are the one authentic group of singers that has emerged from the New Bohemia, and when their voices are lifted in song . . . well, those old four-letter words never had it so good, and that old rock-and-roll beat was never so gaudily sounded.”

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3 Responses to “Strictly Kosher: the Peace Eye Bookstore”

  1. RIP Tuli Kupferberg Says:

    […] As the Times noted, the The Fugs formed in 1964 in the Peace Eye Bookstore on East 10th Street … (Ephemeral New York has more on the bookstore here.) […]

  2. Isabella McFarlin Says:

    Do you remember the Gallery Gwen on 74 E. 4th St between 2nd and 3d Avenues? Irving Fiske, who used to give talks on “Tantra, the Yoga of Sex” and other fascinating religious and philosophical topics, and then drive people to the family land in Vermont each Friday? We also held poetry readings and “Folk Sings” there each week. And showed films– illegally, for the New York Public LIbrary did not allow the charging of even a dollar (or fifty cents, about what we charged) to see one of these films. But people came. It was often standing room only.
    Anyone who remembers the Gallery, Irving, William, Barbara, Ladybelle, or anyone else– we’d love to hear from you for a memoir Ladybelle is writing. ladybellefiske@gmail.com
    Thanks!

  3. jyuenger » Peace Eye Says:

    […] It’s This. […]

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