Thursday, February 4, 2010

Left Bank & Lee

Here's a look at the aftermath of what happens when a landlord (in the words of The Villager) seeks "the kind of higher rents and glitz that are killing what’s left of the small, independent stores and variety in the Village."



The above photo shows the inside of what was Left Bank Books, a warm, dark space recently packed with books and shelves. They just vacated this past weekend, moving to 8th Avenue.

Next door, shown below, are the hollowed-out remains of Lee's Laundry, a space formerly filled with red Chinese posters and calendars, and laundry. Lee said he was not offered a new lease after 30 years.



The wall between Lee's and Left Bank has been completely knocked down and the two spaces have been joined into one large space.

Formerly:

photos: mine & omoo's

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

4? I think he's up to six already.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that book shops are vanishing but this is happening all over the country and while you may be able to blame Marc Jacobs for the cases in the West Village the real problem is that all of print media is dying and dying fast.
In the very near future there will be no books, magazines or newspapers in print, everything will be online. In fact the only book shops left will be second hand ones.

Jonathan said...

The much-heralded death of print isn't the issue here. The issue is the lack of respect for people, history and character, all of which have been trampled by the chase for almighty dollars.

claire said...

the retail version of the trump syndrome: "I make buildings therefore I am..."

Anonymous said...

wow, love that last photo, jeremiah. the reflection is magical.
-stef

chris flash said...

People ought to realize that BOYCOTTS are very powerful weapons to dissuade corporate interlopers from displacing long-standing businesses.

Landlords can be as greedy as they want, but if they couldn't get those inflated rents (which, by the way, increase their assessed values, resulting in higher real estate taxes which they need higher rents to cover), they would leave well enough alone.

But these assholes are clearly blinded by greed. They will fully deserve the resulting empty storefronts and lack of rental income that will contribute to their losing their buildings through foreclosure.

Unfortunately, when long-term local businesses are displaced and can never return, WE all lose as well....

Anonymous said...

Isn't that a Gotlieb building? The West Village is littered with empty Gotlieb buildings. A simple walk up Hudson St and one wonders what the kids are doing...

Anonymous said...

Two things: First, print media is slacking, but it's not DEAD. Online publishing cannot fully replace print media. The Internet is intangible and can be controlled by other outlets. You can hold a book, carry it, keep it, and it doesn't require technology to learn. It's a fool who thinks that there is no room for books in the world. Second, I've read that many west villagers are moving to the east village because they are sick of the whole SITC nonsense over there. I can't say I blame them. It's grittier on this side.