On the Beverly Hills'd end of Bleecker Street, that mini Rodeo Drive west of about 10th Street, also known as the Marc Jacobs Mall, there's little left of the old Village. After we lost Nusraty Afghan Imports to Brooks Brothers, perhaps the only "original" shop that now remains is a small gallery called A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.
According to a number on the door, it was established in 1976. Today, it's wedged between an Intermix and one of the two (?) James Perse stores on the street. Its storefront isn't slick or pretty. Its name is still spelled out in a circa-1980s typeface that looks a lot like Courier.
I'll bet you they get pressure from all sides to move or sell. Yet every time I walk by, they are still there. Surviving.
I can't find much information about the gallery. One online listing states that it's run by a couple named Martinelli and their mission is "to educate people about contemporary prints by exhibiting graphics of the highest quality and the broadest range that appeal to us," like Hockney and Motherwell.
This week, they've got a photograph in the window that caught my eye. (I couldn't read the photographer's name.) It's a scene from another piece of the vanished city, a scene of old Times Square, from 1993 when 42nd Street was a mixture of sleaze and art, in that moment before "revitalization" washed it clean. In this shot, we see Jenny Holzer's "Truisms" on the marquees and my favorite (now vanished) ghost sign of all time: "Cooped Up? Feelin' Low? Enjoy a movie today."
This is all we have left. Ghosts inside ghosts. How long before this is gone too?