It's not a good time, or place, for African art. Bangally African Art on Greenwich Avenue has closed and emptied out after a 30% off sale.
The store has been run for 22 years by the Gambian-born Bangally Jagana, "a premiere collector of tribal art from Africa with a gallery nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village since 1988."
Mr. Jagana in his shop, Daily News
Further east, after losing its street-arty old newsstand for a glass box, that changing piece of Broadway between 17th and 18th has taken another step toward becoming a mini-MePa of sorts. Really more like a suburban shopping mall, as J&S Imports completed its move upstairs and off the street this summer.
Owned by brothers Jaime and Simon Debbah, J&S Imports has been on Broadway for over 40 years. At its peak in the 60s and 70s, reported the Times in 2008, J&S was "the biggest wholesale and retail dealer in town, supplying inexpensive African crafts to half the city street peddlers who sold African art."
The waning interest in African art, along with the owners' age, has moved them into the smaller space. Luckily, they own the building. While J&S is still there for folks in the know, the rest of us can't walk by anymore to see the old sign--Africa, Spain, Novelties--or the collection of art in the window.
Mr. Debbah, by Josh Weil, NY Times
Once an interesting piece of the street's visual fabric, soon it will contain another shopping mall type of store--upscale sunglasses, American Apparel, or an Origins for all your "high-performance" skincare needs? Nope, CLEAR is moving in--a "4G hot spot" Internet network something or other.
Weirdly enough, their appletini green logo matches the appletini green street furniture of the new Broadway lounge right out front, another one of Bloomberg's shopping mall-style rest areas where people talk on cell phones and drink Starbucks coffee in the rush of passing traffic.
This is what the world wants.