I walked by tonight and there was a sign, they're closing next month. That's weird, right? Like, is St. Mark's Books rejoicing? No doubt whatever goes in there will be decried as yet another corporate craphouse that's destroying the neighborhood.
Astor Place, my friends is the least of your worries. It was gentrified before most of the gripers got here, it's a subway hub like Union Square, it's congenitally engineered to accommodate five Starbucks and the new Walgreen's. Okay, I don't understand the Walgreen's. That's not a New York chain. That's just weird. I can't even imagine how much that old Astor Wines space must be in rent. Walgreen's? Isn't Walgreen's the dumpy Duane Reade? But with more space for more shelves of Russell Stover?
I observe the closing of the Astor Place B&N with interest. It means there's one less place that sells my book in my neighborhood. That's not good. It just seemed so integral and neighborhoodish for a big chain store. I think I will only shop at the Shakespeare & Co. around the corner since I have been quietly boycotting St. Mark's ever since I decided the people who work there are kind of shitty.
Okay, now that I think about it, the Astor Place B&N is kind of a dump, as B&Ns go. But always packed! And it was, ah, memories, where I once fell down the stairs so calamitously I got a round of applause.
I recently bragged about being a good speller. It took me four tries to spell "accommodate" correctly. I'm humbled.