It's depressing to walk home to the East Village and see the old St. Mark's Bookshop space still empty after they were forced to move by a rent hike. I try not to walk by there anymore.
With the space vacant for over a year, landlord Cooper Union is contributing to the high-rent blight of the neighborhood, presumably while they wait for a Chipotle or Starbucks to take the spot. As I've said before, there ought to be a law.
You may recall that many of us tried to keep the bookshop here--with tens of thousands of petition signatures, protests, letters to Cooper Union, visits from Michael Moore, and book-buying weekends. But without protections like the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, there really is no hope for any mom and pop. Now the bookshop is on E. 3rd, where the foot traffic is low and business is down. Shelves are bare. They're looking for investors to help keep them going.
But this is what typically happens when a long-time small business is forced to move, especially from a prime spot. They struggle in their new location. They often don't make it.