Posts Tagged ‘Rizzoli Bookstore’
April 11, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Today is Rizzoli Bookstore’s last day in business on Fifty-Seventh Street. Visit their beautiful shop before it’s gone.
- An unnerving correlation between philosophy and murder: “Countries with high homicide rates also have citizens who believe strongly in free will.”
- Britain got rich on sheep. “Wool was the white gold of our economy in the Middle Ages: when Richard the Lionheart was ransomed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VI, the Cistercian monasteries of Britain were asked for a year’s haul of fleece to pay for him.”
- “Amazon has purchased Comixology, the largest retailer of digital comics.” Is your local brick-and-mortar comic-book store completely fucked?
- Nobody wants to go to Colonial Williamsburg anymore. “Here’s an idea: market Colonial Williamsburg as so stodgy and weirdly Americana it’s cool, like taxidermy or trucker hats.”
- In an old shoebox, an artist has discovered a series of strangely affecting photos from the Kansas City drag scene of the sixties.
April 8, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
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.
January 23, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
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.