Tuesday, July 8, 2014

University Stationery


I like a stationery store. Always have. I like the words "stationery" and "stationer," and I like to see them on signs around the city. So I was disappointed when I heard from reader Chris that University Stationery had closed recently. Also, I shopped there. I made special trips to buy a very particular, perfect-sized notepad on which I wrote my many to-do lists.

I don't know how long they'd been on East 12th and I don't know why they closed, only that their sign says they're sad about it, which makes me think they didn't want to close.

And I wonder if this has anything to do with what's happening directly across 12th Street. Last night was the last night of the original Bowlmor Lanes, after 76 years. Its entire building has been stripped of multiple businesses, all pushed out to make room for luxury condos.

Next to that, also across from the former University Stationery store, a parking garage is being converted into 17EAST12, for yet more ultra-luxurious homes (including a penthouse for $25 million).

The utterly, insanely florid website copy is a must-read. Here's what the developer has to say about 17EAST12: "Situated in one of the most sought-after areas of the city, the building must reflect the prominence of the historic Gold Coast. To create a home of this caliber, I worked with the best: materials sourced from across the globe, a wealth of premium brands, and exquisite layouts and amenities... In the end, each residence needs its own passport."

Without a passport to luxury, a little stationery store couldn't stand a chance on the new "gold coast" of 12th and University. (Dare I say it? God help Cinema Village.)


RayPod said...


what swill

Anonymous said...

This makes me so terribly sad. I lived in a SRO on W. 12th and spent so much time at News Bar and the University Diner as well as Cinema Village and University Stationery was a frequent stop for those perfect sized unlined notebooks...They turned this sweet unassuming neighborhood into a "gold coast"? Disgusted and sad.

Anonymous said...

A bit of background here. The stationery store will be replaced by Num Pang, the local success story that previously operated across the street in the soon-to-be-demolished bowling alley building. We in the neighborhood are lucky that both Japonica and Num Pang have found new homes nearby. But yes....we dread what the new condo building will bring at ground level. At least we know it won't be a TD Bank because we just got one of those down the street!

Barbara L. Hanson said...

I've been getting my specialist pencils there for years. And I just love stationery stores in general; their shelves hum with possibility.

Brendon Bouzard said...



Evidently the Cupcake Craze, like the Dutch Tulip Mania before it, was unsustainable. The Yunnies have moved on to fro-yo, macarons, cronuts and glasses of milk fashioned of chocolate chip cookies. We'll look back at the simple cupcake era with nostalgia someday, a time of less-complicated portion-controlled snacking, when one's choice of dessert wasn't a feverishly hashed-over emblem of the narcissism of small differences -- it was a decision made for you. We submitted ourselves wholly to the grotesque monolith, the frosted wonder, the cupcake.

Bloomberg's New York is dead. Long live Bloomberg's New York.

Anonymous said...

I was at Cinema Village last weekend and noticed the closing sign on the stationary store. I think it was a branch of the stationary store on 6th and 12th St. I also noticed that Japonica had moved, but thankfully they're still in business.

I hadn't been in the area for a long while and my thought was to wonder, sadly, how much longer Cinema Village had, before it gets shuttered.

I've lived in Manhattan for 40 years,moved around to many neighborhoods below 14th St. that are now gentrifying with terrible velocity. My own rent-stabilized building is being sold and I expect that I won't live in Manhattan much longer. I can't believe what I'm witnessing.

Grand St. said...

Hope the shwarma/falafel guy finds a home in the area. Last man standing in the 'Bowlmor' building. Lease runs until Oct.

Anonymous said...

2 points:

-Unfortunately, the cupcake craze is not dead...the "big-box" cupcake chain is sputtering along, being replaced by "artisinal" and "small batch" nonsense.

-that copy is priceless! I laughed my ass off. A passport??!! It's an apartment. A place where you come home to drop your stuff of and sleep. Jeremiah--you should start a section on your site capturing all this inane bs--a sort of "rogue's gallery" of stupid luxury yuppie boxes and their ridiculous ads!

John K said...

Noooooooo! I have bought so many pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, and other stationery goods there over the years, and now to see yet another small business being pushed out by the rapacious New York real estate industry is just sickening! This does not have to happen, people! It doesn't. It's the zoning policies of the city and federal and global economic policies that are making this possible. We can change them, but we have to get out there, make noise, and urge others to vote for real change. Not more change--to the tunes of billions--into the pockets of global gazillionaires, who are snapping up these condos.

Anonymous said...


However, do they have another location on La Guardia Place & W 3rd?

... thinking of La Guardia Place brings back memories of other places .. like Bruno's when it had a sister place on Bleecker ... Chinese place near Bruno's on LaGuardia that had duck noodle soup so good that I didn't have to go down to Chinatown

Lovely to reminisce with you and others... but, still sad.