Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another Newsstand Gone

For many years, by the northeast corner of 23rd and Park Avenue South, there stood a lovely little newsstand. It was bright blue. It remained, until very recently, an unlikely survivor of Bloomberg's Cemusa onslaught.

I wish I could find my other photos of it

Here it is (was) on Google maps, surviving defiantly in front of Pret A Manger, Bank of America, 7-Eleven, New York Sports Club, and Baked By Melissa cupcakes, across from Walgreens, Bath & Body Works, and the Vitamin Shoppe.

It was crooked and quirky, just like all our newsstands used to be. It had character. Really, it was the only bit of original New York character left on that chain-strangled corner.

I always admired it when I walked by, grateful to it for still standing against the dull tide of glass and chrome. But on a recent walk past, I found it was gone. Some construction is being done to the subway entrance.

"Where's the newsstand?" I asked a nearby construction worker. "Disappeared," he said. "They got rid of it."

I asked another, who told me, "The City took it away."

Then I asked a neighboring newsstand vendor.

"I don't know. Maybe they're putting in one of these," he said, gesturing to his generic Cemusa box. "They did it to me."

He explained how the City removed his newsstand and then took two years to get him a new one. During those two years, he had no business. It's important to understand that the city's newsstand vendors used to own their stands, some passed down for generations, but Bloomberg took them away and gave them to Cemusa, a Spanish corporation that now leases them to the vendors who used to be owners.

"I consider that stealing," I told him, paying for my peanut M&M's.

"Yes, well," he replied with a shrug, "the City doesn't see it that way."

See Also:
History of the New York Newsstand
More Newsstand Deaths
Newsstand Slaughter
Hojo's Lost Newsstand
Another Newsstand
Union Square Newsstand


Anonymous said...

Have always been cheered by encountering one of these one-person outposts.


Anonymous said...

Why would iZombies get newspapers, plus they prefer their news in 140 characters or less. These Cemusa stands are just another shiny happy street furniture to them, they want the streets to be an extension of their living room with their Ikeas in their shiny happy condos. Soon, these newsstands will just be a charging stations for their Kindles and e-readers.

Anonymous said...

It appears the entire corner is being torn up, possibly for an elevator to provide easy access to the uptown #6 train at this 23rd St. station. Hopefully the news dealer will return when construction concludes.

Anonymous said...

I won't miss this newsstand. In fact, I'm glad it's gone. It occupied too much space on the sidewalk and there was too little space for pedestrians. In fact, at times it seemed dangerous for people exiting the subway to merge with those on the street. I'm a fan of newsstands...and truly miss the one owned by Harriet at the intersection of 23rd & Third (SW corner).

bruce said...

Perhaps the advantage of the Cemusa newstands is that they can be sealed up completely when closed.
No way for rats to get in to munch on the foodstuffs.
A cleaner city, no?

Ed said...

There is an argument that the old newstands had to go once the city's population got to 8 million, for the reasons cited by other commentators. They took up too much space on the sidewalks and attracted rats.

Anonymous said...

Its a dump for gods sake. Also.they block the sidewalk and prob violate the
ADA and how is this stealing? Right we can't ever upgrade anything ever.

Anonymous said...

It was removed for a much needed
elevator for the disabled as part
of the MTA complying with the
American Disabled act aka ADA.