Monday, August 27, 2018

Silver Spurs to Morgenstern's

The Silver Spurs coffee shop had been around since 1979. The last survivor shuttered on LaGuardia this past March. At the time, Kiki the manager told me their replacement would be an ice-cream place. “Expensive," she said.

Recently, Morgenstern's ice-cream shop papered the windows, announcing their arrival in the spot.

Important to note--they also announce they are "credit card only." No cash allowed. When you're forced to put a $4.50 ice-cream cone on credit, you know the dystopian future has already arrived.

They're not alone. Van Leeuwen ice cream is also no cash accepted. SweetGreen is another one (and they took the space of a great coffee shop on University Place). It's a growing, disturbing trend.

Cashless retail is discriminatory and exclusive. The Guardian recently reported that local government in Washington, DC, is trying to put a stop to it with The Cashless Retailers Prohibition Act of 2018.

They wrote: "A report last year by the Washington City Paper found that 27% of people in the US would have trouble using only a credit card to purchase products, and that the percentage in Washington DC is even higher. 'I’m concerned with more and more restaurants, businesses and shops going cashless because you’re systematically excluding a group of people who are already disadvantaged and disenfranchised,' Linnea Lassiter, an analyst at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, told the paper. 'And now they can’t have access to this restaurant?'"

One good thing about all those vanishing coffee shops like Silver Spurs? They took our cash.

Den Re-Done

The Village Den was a comfortable, accessible diner in Greenwich Village for 36 years. It shuttered this past May.

A sign went up in the window soon after, announcing that something new was coming: "Better Den You Remember." But the Den I remember was quite wonderful, so probably not.

Now the Times reports that the Den is being re-done by Queer Eye's food and wine expert Antoni Porowski.

The "theme" of the new place will be comfort food, except it won't be the actual comfort food previously served at the theme-free original Den.

It also might not feel as accessible to everyone as the old place. The Times reported: Porowski's "target audience is people like him: the '30s health and fitness' crowd, he said, noting that the restaurant is near an Equinox gym."

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Star Struck Vintage


Whenever I walk past it on Greenwich Avenue, I remember buying my first suit there in 1994, and I wonder how it can possibly still exist. The store, not the suit, which is long gone.

photo via International Traveller

On their Facebook page, Star Struck has announced:

"We would like to take a moment to let you know that after 38 years Star Struck Vintage in NYC will be closing. We will be forever grateful to all of our customers, for you have shown us the true meaning of loyalty. Many of you have become part of our family over the years; and although we will miss you all very much, we are looking forward to retirement. The store will be closing August 31st."