Monday, December 23, 2019

Chelsea Flea Market


The Chelsea Flea Market on 25th Street between 6th and Broadway has been in business since 1976. Now we hear it is coming to an end.

I went by one evening a few weeks ago and heard the rumor that the lease is up and the owners aren't renewing. Now a couple of tipsters confirm: Next weekend, December 28 and 29, will be the last for this popular and long-running flea.

Paul Jeromack writes, "There is a possibility it will get a reprieve," hoping someone might take it over from the current managers, Alan and Helene Boss -- a couple that the Post has said "rules city flea markets with an iron fist." However, he adds, "the church next door," which owns the parking lot "does not want to renew the lease."

That church is St. Sava Serbian Orthodox, burned down in a massive blaze in 2016. Around that time, there was also news of an 850-foot commercial tower going up on the flea's parking lot.

It doesn't look good.

Jeromack notes, "Some of my vendor friends told me if need be, they would migrate to the Columbus Avenue schoolyard market on 77th Street," but this may not be the solution for all the vendors.

"There are guys who are rag-pickers with piles of old clothes and pots and pans, who I am sure would not be approved for the uptown space. Where are they going to go?"

This is sad news for flea market fans. We already lost the great Antiques Garage in 2014 when their building was demolished for a luxury hotel tower. Not to mention the little Chelsea flea on 17th and 6th, shuttered in 2009.

Every day, in every way, we're living in a more and more overpriced, hollow, and disposable city.

photo via Joseph Burns Instagram

Monday, December 9, 2019

Colony to CVS

When the great Colony Music was forced to shutter in 2012 by a massive rent hike, after 60 years in Times Square, its space in the Brill Building was gutted and turned into a revolving door of random businesses.


There were Christmas and Halloween stores, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, and some other crap. That's what happens when the new landlord quintuples the rent to $5 million and there's no commercial rent control or any other policies protecting the small businesspeople of this city from unregulated greed.

Now, after 7 years of high-rent blight and unstable pop-up ventures, the space has been taken by the only kind of retailer that can afford such millions--a giant chain store.

Colony is now a CVS.


To add insult to injury, the owners of the landmarked Brill have decided to obscure this gorgeous, historic building with digital screens. (How was the Landmarks Preservation Commission okay with this mess?)

Seven years. What a long, sad trip it's been.

a more beautiful past

New Chase

When Coffee Shop on Union Square closed in 2018, we heard it would be turned into yet another Chase Bank branch.

That signage is now up:

We also heard the rumor that Chase might be keeping the antique neon sign and re-doing the letters so it spells out CHASE instead of COFFEE SHOP.

That signage is now gone. Whether or not it returns is anyone's guess.