Wednesday, May 28, 2008

R&S Strauss

Recently, Curbed reported that the R&S Strauss auto parts shop on 14th and Ave C has gone on the market for $13 million, thus further pushing the eastern end of 14th towards possible luxurification.



I figured I better get in there and check it out. Browsing around car accessory stores is fun. Even when you don't own a car. There are many creative air fresheners, decals both sexy and scary, and novelty seat covers to discover. At this location, you will also find plenty of bling to trick out and generally "pimp" your ride. I asked the salesgirl if they were closing and she said, "No way! If we are, nobody's telling us!"



Strauss is an old company. According to their history, the R&S in the name refers to the store's founders, Harry Roth and Herman Schlenger, who opened their first shop in 1919. The Strauss part belongs to a guy named Izzy they merged with in 1983. It is now a global chain.

Chain or not, its loss from the eastern ass-end of 14th will still be cause for grief if it means what we think it means--an opening for the overall Meatpacking effect that is rippling up and down this main artery to reach deep into the East Village. The site has "flagship opportunity" written all over it. And all it would take is some brave "revolutionary" like Diane Von Furstenberg to move in and there goes the neighborhood. If she, and those like her, were willing to suffer the stink and blood of dead carcasses, what will they care about housing projects and powerplants?

And as we've seen from cupcakes and Marc Jacobs, the ripple effect grows quickly and powerfully. What will the loss of Strauss beget for an entire neighborhood?

Fear This!

13 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Well, if a designer does set up shop here, I do hope they preserve some of R&S Strauss' past. I won't mind paying $100 for a vintage Mr. T air freshner for a car that I don't own because...

No, god. This is horrible. You nailed what's going to happen to this area. Meatpacking East. The Beginning of the End.

KnicksBasketballNY said...

SAD.

LiverpoolFCReds said...

"Browsing around car accessory stores is fun. Even when you don't own a car."

No wonder why they despised the Varvatos and Marc Jacobs stores.

Sad indeed.

Joshua said...

Oh come now, I thought you yunnies were all about facetious activities with no particular purpose. Don't tell me "action groups" and "train parties" were some kind of mature use of time.
Anyway, what's the matter, you don't like decals?

LiverpoolFCReds said...

I am not under any orders to make the world a better place.

What's the matter, Joshua, you'd rather spend time at car accessories store than go to a museum? You must have your apt. decorated with decals and freshen it with car air fresheners. Sad, sad, sad, what an excuse to be a human being.

Anonymous said...

J, NYDN SATC video has segment on Cosmos, the Pink Ladies for the Entitled. VNY should cover history of this libation. Heard of it yrs. ago, specialty of a Chelsea boy bar. WTF is a mixologist, a bar tender of the Entitled society?

Joshua said...

"I am not under any orders to make the world a better place." Hmm...I guess I must've touched a nerve there, 'cause I sure don't remember saying anything in that vein. Though, since you mention it, I never thought you were (in case you were wondering).
Anyway, why all this hostility about a car parts store? If a store is selling products for under $1,000 do you feel like the walls are closing in on you? Do you become less hip by being in it’s vicinity? What’s the problem?
Also, I didn’t realize we were comparing “a day at the museum” to “a day at the car-parts store”. As I understood it, we were talking about super-luxury bars and clothing stores displacing less-fabulous businesses, not where we’d prefer a field trip. Nonetheless, if I may ask, would you rather spend the day at Marc Jocob’s store than at a museum? Before you answer, you’d better find out if Marc provides a bathroom.
Your sanctimony lacks logic, my lad.

By the way, what does liverpoolfcreds stand for?

LiverpoolFCReds said...

Don't you mean I've touched a nerve? It seems like whenever someone disagree with the view in this blog you guys go into rhetoric infantile rage.

If a store is selling products that you actually need as supposed to a car part that you have no use for, do you feel like the world is closing down on you? Would you rather buy a $100 air car freshener or a $200 shirt?

Not a question whether we're talking about a field trip, it just shows how narrow your mindset is by only choosing to go to a less-fabulous business stores. Do you become less bohemian, less of an "artiste", less of "NYer" by being in a Marc Jacobs store? How is it any of your concerns if someone want to spend their hard-earned money at a super-luxerified store? I guess the only reason why you'd go to a museum is to use it's bathroom? Does R&S Strauss have a bathroom? There's a whole world out there aside from the East Village and your car accessories store. And it just shows that you need to get out more if you need to know what liverpoolfcreds mean.
What’s your problem? Surely, this conversation can go on and on. Why don't we meet, eh? And see the "man" behind these words.

Jeremiah Moss said...

are we still talking about car air fresheners?

you know, there are countless blogs, magazines, ads, etc., that celebrate the "fabulous" and the luxurious ad nauseum. i am consistently baffled as to why, at the suggestion that something less-than-luxurious might be worth noticing and enjoying, people scream in protest?

what is it about a smelly cardboard pine tree that inspires such emotion?

PS: i looked it up, liverpool f.c. reds are a UK "football" team. soccer fans are a rowdy lot.

john said...

He's just mad because liverpool didnt take home any silverware this year ;p

How about the "New York Red Bulls" for another example of the lame corporatization of things that make life interesting?

GoToffees said...

Liverpool is a shit team with a pussy firm. Joshua should take liverpoolfcreds up on his challenge because their loyalists are all bloody tossers and poofs.

Everton 4 Life

Joshua said...

Thanks everybody, but behind all that ranting about manhood I detect a genuine current of cofusion. After all, these are fairly basic questions he's asking, so I'll post the reply I was going to leave after I read his last post. I hope it helps him out.
[ Seriously though, I think you misunderstand the problem. Gentrification is not merely a problem of taste and aesthetics (though they are certainly involved). Underneath it all is something called “economics”. For example, many people choose not to shop in super-luxury stores, not because of competing views of hipness, but because they cannot afford to. In a society in which not everyone makes $50,000+ by the time they’re 25, this is just a fact of life. Now, with the wealthy actively roving for neighborhoods to magically turn hip, you can imagine it becomes rather difficult for the un-fabulous to live their lives in the midst of the across-the-board rent and price increases that gentrification brings. The businesses close, the people have to leave, and a new rich part of town is born. And on top of that, the presence of the wealthy drives up prices in the surrounding areas as their proximity leads to their “discovery”too, and the process repeats itself. Honestly, I shouldn’t have to explain the process to you if you live in NYC (of all places!). One day you’re there and can afford to live, the next day there’s an army of giggling, flip-flop clad kids pushing you out. Where do you go? Where do you shop?
So, to answer your most important question, the reason why we here on this bog care where those yuppie/hipster pricks spend their money (hard-earned or otherwise) is because it has a direct correlation on how far OUR hard-earned money will go. See? It’s quite simple really. ]

By the way Jerry, I'm glad you looked up what liverpoolcreds meant. I figured it was either sports-related or a new party drug(I was leaning towards the later, because you just don't get that angry over decals and air-resheners when sober), but this is just as well. I wonder if he's one of those English yunnies I see around. In that case, do you think if I quoted the mantra, "why don't you just leave" it would be too ironic, or do you think he'd get the anollagy?

The New York Experience said...

I have lived in the area for 24 years and for the past 5 or so I've been waiting for this day. I wouldn't be surprised if something similar to the "J Hotel" attempted to be erected in this lot.http://curbed.com/archives/2008/12/29/jayzs_hotel_among_projects_frozen_by_building_booms_end.php