Back in December I reported that the 41-year-old store Yes! This Is Charlie's would be forced to close due to rising rents on the eastern end of 14th Street.
More recently, The Villager reported on the March 31 closure, quoting manager Danny Rodriguez: “Mostly outsiders are moving in, and they couldn’t care less about us. All the new shops don’t cater to the people here. You feel like an outsider in your own neighborhood. To be honest, I don’t think they even want us here. They would love it if little by little we would just get out so they can move into our apartments."
Curbed picked up that story and their commenters confirmed Danny's suspicions, saying "Cry me a river," and "There's still too many poor people in Manhattan mucking up the City," and "Let them live in the outer boroughs where they belong," etc.
Curbed speculates that the eastern end of 14th is doomed, thanks to the "A Building, with its rooftop pool and glassed-in wealthy residents," along with other changes in the area, including Stuyvesant Town's frat-house transformation and the possible $13 million sale of R&S Strauss at Avenue C. I have to agree.
But the good new is...Charlie's lives! They found a new spot, miraculously, on Ave C between 10th and 11th. It's smaller than the last place, but still filled with odd coloring books, greeting cards in plastic tubs, and rolls of crepe paper. When I was there, two women walked in and greeted Charlie with kisses, saying, "We found you! Thank God--and we're sending everybody over."
Help spread the word, before Charlie's is eventually pushed again, next time off Ave C. This one neighborhood shop is still surviving in a city ever-filling with people who are pointedly, unabashedly, and aggressively hostile to the mere existence of places like it.