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Yu & Me Books reopens after fire shut it down for six months

Six months after a fire killed one person and gutted a popular Asian American bookstore in New York Chinatown, Yu & Me Books is back up and running at its original location.

“Seeing the new space brought to life is reminding me of all the happiness and joy and community this space brings,” customer Ray Buzetta said to NY1 as he browsed through books during the grand reopening Sunday.

Book lovers rallied around Yu & Me after news broke about the fire last summer. They donated $350,000 through a GoFundMe campaign that helped the bookstore make the necessary repairs.

“I hope that all that enter can feel at home and I know they will be able to find a story that they connect with,” said owner Lucy Yu to Timeout. “I believe the general state of existentialism that we are collectively experiencing can lead to isolation and loss of self as we are all restructuring after 2020. When that happens, we lose sight of the depths of each other and we start to wean off real connection with people. So, in my small little world, I hope to bring people together in engaging meaningfully, if even for a brief moment.”

Shortly after the tire, Yu & Me opened at a temporary location while it figured out how to rebuild its old space.

According to Secret NYC, Yu & Me is thought to be the first Asian American woman run bookstore in the city. The reading room is known for showcasing Asian American authors, immigrants and other people of color.

You can check out the store at 44 Mulberry Street in New York City.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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