At the top of Chicken Corner's wish list for quite some time has been a bookstore -- an independent shop that took chances and also stocked classics. For a brief while we had a lovely little boutique on gallery row (when it was gallery row, on EP Ave.). But that store was underfunded, carrying only a nicely selected, spare stock of mainly used paperbacks; it didn't make it. Then, for the last four or so years, it's been nothing except Amazon, which seems to live the air we breathe. But, strangely, enough, this fall Chicken Corner got her wish. A viable shop, Stories L.A., moved in next door to 826LA, its merchandize and sense of mission in stunning equilibrium. It has books to sell, buy or trade, new and used. And it has a cafe. It looks good. As my buddies from The Eastsider and Dwell reported, the shelves are transplants from Dutton's, which died so famously last year.
Stories also likes an author who makes some noise.
To wit: among the store's first readers will be Jason Flores-Williams, a New York writer who recently moved to Venice. He's the author of The Last Stand of Mr. America and two other novels. He has written for Hustler, The Nation and High Times, and there is such a variety of information about him online that I thought there were two writers of the same name, if not the same Mexican-Lebanese-American heritage. He's a lawyer and political activist, described in the following terms after an unauthorized performance in front of Carnegie Hall: