The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Rizzoli Bookstore’

Kansas in Drag, and Other News

April 11, 2014 | by


A photograph from Kansas City recently discovered by Robert Heishman.



The Disappearing Face of New York

April 8, 2014 | by


What was once Optimo Cigars is now a boutique cupcake shoppe. Photo: James and Karla Murray, via Facebook

Smithsonian Magazine, Beautiful Decay, and others have recently featured photographs from Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, published in 2008 by James and Karla Murray. In 2004, the couple “began a project to capture New York City’s iconic storefronts—the city’s unique, mom-and-pop restaurants, shops, and bars—before they disappeared.” Now, ten years later, they’ve revisited the storefronts to find that most of shops have, in fact, disappeared:


Many traditional “mom and pop” neighborhood storefronts that had prevailed in some cases for over a century were disappearing in the face of modernization and conformity, and the once unique appearance and character of New York's colorful streets were suffering in the process … We noticed very early on while photographing the original stores that if the owner did not own the entire building, their business was already in jeopardy of closing. The owners themselves frequently acknowledged that they were at the mercy of their landlords and the ever-increasing rents they charged … When the original 2nd Avenue Deli location in the East Village closed in 2006 after the rent was increased from $24,000 a month to $33,000 a month, and a Chase Bank took over the space, we knew the contrast of before and after was severe.

More of the photos can be seen on James and Karla’s Facebook page. They’re especially sobering given the sad fate of Rizzoli Bookstore, which will shutter its beautiful, historic Fifty-Seventh Street location on April 11.



Save Rizzoli

January 23, 2014 | by


Since 1985, Manhattan’s Rizzoli Bookstore has occupied a spectacular six-story limestone townhouse on Fifty-Seventh Street—their Web site aptly goes in for a bit of self-congratulation, touting the “cast iron chandeliers, ornately decorated vaulting, and a luminous Diocletian window.” You can learn more about the history of the building here. It’s the sort of place that inspires breathless exaltation in book lovers, or even merely book likers; if you were to publish a magazine of bookseller porn, Rizzoli would be the centerfold. Put more baldly, it’s magical.

Alas, in a plot turn that seems ripped from a bad movie, realtors have designs on the building—they want to demolish it and build a high-rise. One can only imagine the cackles that issue from their inner sanctum with so many malignant plumes of cigar smoke.

But fear not. Citizens have come together, as we are wont to do, to preserve Rizzoli as a landmark. Sign the petition to help save it, and, as a bonus, to ensure that these dastardly realtors are left stomping their finely crafted hats.