“This did not look like this two hours ago,” Veronica Liu said as she surveyed the crowd at Word Up, Washington Heights’ newest, possibly even first, pop-up bookstore. It was 8 p.m. on Friday. At 6 p.m. — Word Up’s stated opening time — Heights residents and newly recruited volunteers were still moving boxes into the former pharmacy storefront on Broadway and 176th Street, where the community bookstore is in residency until mid-July.
Word Up is the result of a collaboration between the landlord, Vantage Residential, the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and Ms. Liu, the managing editor for the publisher Seven Stories Press, who came up with the idea after a reading last month in Harlem.
Situated between a cellphone carrier and a vacant storefront opposite the United Palace Theater, Word Up at first seems like a nondescript addition to a strip-mallish segment of Broadway; that is, until passers-by look under the Curewell Drugs awning.