Sunday, February 24, 2019

Dive Bar to Bubble Tea

In the East Village. This is depressing.



What else is there to say? Here's the story -- and the history -- of the International Bar.

(And, yes, a variation of it lives on a couple blocks south on First Avenue. And, yes, this wasn't the original original. But this good old space? Gone to bubbles.)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Amazon Folds

Today I wrote an essay for The Atlantic on the folding of Amazon in New York City and the activists' celebration party last night in Queens.

It begins, "A piñata hangs from a tree on Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights, Queens. It is decorated with the face of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and by the end of Thursday night it will meet the fate of all piñatas."

Read the rest here

Friday, February 8, 2019

Left Bank Books


Some good news for a change. Left Bank Books is returning to brick-and-mortar. On their website, they announce:

"We’re ecstatic to announce the upcoming re-opening of Left Bank Books in a new Greenwich Village location at 41 Perry Street."

Left Bank shuttered in 2016 after struggling in its second location. Prior to that, the shop had been on West 4th Street for many years and was kicked out by a rent hike--their neighbor, Lee's Laundry, was also pushed out. The double space became a cafe and then that shuttered. Something else moved in and I think that might have shuttered, too. I don't know what's there now. As we see over and over, stable, long-term small businesses get pushed out and then the space becomes unstable, filling and emptying again and again.

It's not often that a lost bookstore returns. Let's hope Left Bank has found a decent landlord and newfound stability. They'll be on Perry Street between West 4th Street and Waverly Place. Doors open in March.

They write, "The bookshop will showcase our eclectic selection from the 20th and 21st centuries (and occasionally earlier), encompassing literature, art, film, photography, fashion, architecture, design, music, theater, dance, children’s books, and New York City. In time, we expect to host events and exhibits, becoming a destination for seasoned collectors, emerging enthusiasts, and curious newcomers the world over."

(h/t Alex in NYC)