Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Left Bank

In a time when New York City bookstores are dying a thousand deaths, it's heartening to see an old favorite come back to life. Left Bank Books has officially opened in its new location on 8th Ave. between 12th and Jane.

I am happy to say that the little shop has not lost its warm and bookish charms. Under a pressed-tin ceiling, the books are stacked neatly in dark wooden shelves and milk crates. Many are still piled on tables and packed in boxes, waiting to be organized. As the sign on the door says, "We are open, though far from completely unboxed. If you can tolerate disorder, please come in."

Outside, chairs await browsers and friends, just as they did back on 4th Street.

The shop is located in a building that dates back to 1840, according to the knowledgeable fellow I spoke with inside, and was one of the first, if not the first, structure to grace 8th Avenue when it was extended northward--or maybe southward. Anyway, it's been there for a very long time. Let's hope Left Bank lasts a long while, too.

Here is the row of Federal buildings the bookshop occupies, photographed in 1929 and today. Nice to see some parts of the city haven't changed much at all.


Google maps

More on this bookstore's recent brush with death:
Save Left Bank Books
Left Bank & Cherry
Left Bank & Lee


Mykola Dementiuk said...

My God, what a pleasure to see a New York that hasn't changed in a 100 years!


EV Grieve said...

Wow... I need to remember moments like this when three more ramen shops open on my block....

Mark said...

As thrilled as I am about Left Bank books, I am more than a little upset that Cherry was unceremoniously thrown out of this spot, after being in business for several years at this location.

I know that you did a little research into Cherry, and made some snarky comments, but I know these people, who both lived and worked on this street for years.

I find the fact that they lost their location as sad as the fact that Left Bank will continue makes me happy!

It's not a win/win situation.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i was only being mildly snarky. more like cheeky.

cherry looked like a cool place, but i was under the impression they were moving into bigger and better circumstances, by choice. but maybe that's not so?

Mark said...

okay...cheeky, then!

No,the move was not by choice and with almost no notice.

It wasn't a happy event, but they've made the best of it that they can.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i am sorry to hear that about Cherry. i hope they do well in the new location. and thanks for correcting my (cheeky) assumptions!