intersection 08.17.16

Every Person in New York

As summer begins its late-August vanishing act, an email we received (more about that in a moment) prompted us to think yet again about the de-momandpopification of the city, as shop after idiosyncratic shop (farewell Tekserve) turns out the lights. Every week seems to bring the final meal for eateries from the Polish Tearoom to La Luncheonette. And it's the final rest even for history-saturated landmarks like the Waldorf=Astoria.

These are places we have cherished (and written about) at MUG for many years. But no one has done a better job of chronicling the exodus than Jeremiah's New York, a blog that creator Jeremiah Moss describes as a Book of Lamentations. His #SaveNYC campaign is a way to document and hopefully decelerate this denaturing of New York.

Vintage Thrift is one the city's best charitable thrift shops, with proceeds benefitting the United Jewish Council of the East Side. Their main store is at 286 3rd [22nd/23rd] 212.871.0777 and they have a spinoff at 242 W. 10th [Bleecker/Hudson] 646.371.9262. We received an email from Holly Kaye, whose late husband Gene Golombek founded Vintage Thrift 17 years ago, asking for help.

In a nutshell: the landlord of their warehouse space, the place where they sort and store donated merchandise, wants 10 times the rent they are currently paying, and so they have about 45 days to find a new warehouse. Sixteen people work for Vintage Thrift and, if they can't find a space, their jobs are at risk.

They need 1,200-1,400 square feet of usable, raw space, Manhattan or Brooklyn preferred, $3500 a month max. There are some additional requirements (like a loading dock) given their business. If you know of a space or can help in this process, please call the store or email Ms. Kaye here.

New York is always vanishing, of course. Regeneration is, in a certain sense, a sign of health. But so is honoring the buildings and businesses that are so essential to New York's New Yorkness. Is there anyone who wouldn't wish the old Penn Station back to life? And by the same token (RIP tokens), we must not allow future generations of New Yorkers to look back at us and wonder how, cornerstone by cornerstone, we let the city slip away.

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for more at Jason's site and his book Every Person in New York.

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