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Wednesday
Jan162013

Facelift for Newsstand on Fifth and Ninth

The tiny, ramshackle news stand that's held down the corner of Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street since at least 1931 has gotten a glassy makeover.

I was always a fan of S&P's previous incarnation, which was brimming with newspapers, magazines, fading Spanish-language advertisements, cigarette ads, and even a couple old pay phones. The new version has been stripped of all character, the newspapers and magazines are gone save for a couple dailies and popular periodicals, and the interior is essentially wall to wall refrigerator cases full of soda bottles and chip bags.

While the old news stand was decidedly run down and "nothing special," at least it had a hint of that old-school New York character. And while its replacement is shiny and new, it's just a glass box. I sense a trend.

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Reader Comments (14)

My guess is that the face-lift was prompted by declining sales of newspapers and magazines, and that the proprietor's income had shifted substantially to convenience foods and soda.

When I was a kid (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) there were as many as nine newspapers in New York City, some of which were evening papers, and people used to head for the newsstands around 6:00 PM or so to get the first edition of the evening paper. Those days are gone forever, other than in old movies.

I don't think you can blame the proprietor for trying to stay economically viable, despite the loss of that old New York character. Time will tell if he's successful or not...

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrookboy

Dan, after a journey in the desert you're back with a series of great posts!

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

It's amazing how few newsstands there are in such a literary neighborhood as Park Slope. At least no one has to walk more than one block for a bag of chips.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

This has to be one of the most unsightly corners in NYC. That monstrous tower in the background must be razed and so too should these hovels on fifth. Then there is that apocalyptic fallout shelter that is now a Chase branch on the other side of Ninth. Walking here is completely depressing.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheodore

Am agree with Theo'adore. Shitty-ass corner.

Now instead of a closed up troglodyte neanderthal hut we have a reality-show over lit fishbowl.

Compliments the strobing lights of the falafel cart across the street nicely.

It's amazing how the vibe changes as soon as you pass towards 10th Street.

The Chase, however, is an amazing example of Brutalism - an architectural style that spawned from the modernist architectural movement and which flourished from the 1950s to the 1970s.

I dare say it used to be a Crocker Bank? Or is that just me revealing my West Coast roots. They had the best bank buildings in the 70s.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFaros Fawcett

How's that Halal cart across the street? I miss a good combo with white and red over rice.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Re: the Chase Bank, that corner used to be a Manufacturers Hanover Trust but I think it was a different building. I thought the current building went up relatively recently...(?)

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

Speaking of this corner....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C19gBFilDc

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFaros Fawcett

Faros! I absolutely love the youtube link. I know the corner well all the way back to 1982.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercynthia

Please save us from people who think 5th and 9th is ugly... You people need to go play in front of the Barclays Center. The charm of that corner is the amazing collection of folks who actually shop there... I know you people want to put up a Shake Shack and get it over with, but there are still neighborhoods where normal people do their normal shopping for normal food and normal clothes... Leave us alone and go prettify someone who cares.

January 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Another fashion show will make this intersection chic again.

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

Chris,

Normal people also deserve public spaces that have some aesthetic achievement. Whether it be a train station or a block in your neighborhood good architecture and design are vital. Beautiful neighborhoods should not just be for the rich but for all. I'm sorry but if you think normal people deserve this monstrous blight then you sir are a philistine.

January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheodore

The signage definitely helps it stand out a little.

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKyle Anderson

nice yeah. thank you for sharing

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