They are vanishing, turning into ticky-tacky boxes, according to this article from the Times City Room: "The common city newsstand, a bit of ungainly but plainspoken street furniture largely unchanged from the days of Berenice Abbott, has begun to give way to a sleeker version — arguably far more handsome and certainly far more corporate."
Handsome and corporate. We should ask much, much more from our city. Or else all we will continue to get is this constant attack on our eclectic, vibrant, urban "hodgepodge of unattractive things" (as Bloomberg calls our streets).
Many of these newsstands have stood for years, passed down through generations of vendors. But big business rules and you can't win the fight against City Hall. Or can you?
These words, from Jackie Kennedy Onassis, were spoken in response to a (thankfully defeated) plan to demolish Grand Central years ago. They still hold true today:
"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future? Americans care about their past, but for short term gain they ignore it and tear down everything that matters.... this is the time to take a stand, to reverse the tide, so that we won't all end up in a uniform world of steel and glass boxes."