Flyers Abound for Saturday, April 30th Hospital Rally Around Village

Seen In Window of Lifethyme Natural Foods on Sixth Avenue

Seen in Vacant Greenwich Avenue Storefront

The once-unfathomable idea that a high-profile hospital in an affluent Manhattan neighborhood would be allowed to close had become reality. The hospital’s venerable history—over 160 years, it had treated victims of the Titanic,the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, the AIDS epidemic, and 9/11—had not saved it. Nor had its location as the only hospital on Manhattan’s West Side below 59th Street. St. Vincent’s failure left 3,500 employees jobless and 200,000 New Yorkers without their nearest hospital.

St. Vincent’s plight has been portrayed by public officials and the media as a story of local misfortune—a community losing a vital piece of its infrastructure and a centerpiece of its identity to a combination of mismanagement, the recession, and bad luck. The truth, though, is considerably more alarming.

— From New York Magazine “Why St. Vincent’s is the Lehman Brothers of Hospitals,” Oct. 2010.

Rally to Demand a Hospital will take place Saturday, April 30th, 2 p.m., at 7th Avenue & 12th Street, site of St. Vincent’s.

Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II — Photos

Fences Up SouthWest Side!

Fences Up SouthWest Side!

Where Do Old Benches Go To Die?

Where Do Old Benches Go To Die?

NorthEast Entrance Benches Gone

NorthEast Entrance Benches Gone

Performing Ftn Plaza by Fence

WSP Tree "Protection" Could Certainly be Improved

WSP Tree "Protection" Could Certainly be Improved

Soon to be Demolished Alcove SE Side (4 will Remain; 2 Removed)

Soon to be Demolished Alcove SE Side (4 will Remain; 2 Removed)

Park Closes 12 a.m.?

Park Closes 12 a.m.?

WSP Blog is taking a short hiatus until Monday, November 2nd (right before Election Day!) but there’s still a few posts lingering (more updated photos of the work, and some commentary) that I’ll post in the interim so check back!

Will Joe Jr.’s, Village Institution for 35 years, close Sunday?

I went in Joe Jr.’s restaurant about four months ago, inspired I think by Vanishing New York’s previous coverage of this Village institution (same location for 35 years).  It’s a real old school New York place located at Sixth Avenue and 12th Street.  I sat at a booth.  It was really comfortable.  I ordered something diner-y, like a grilled cheese and unsweetened iced tea.  They couldn’t have been nicer.  It wasn’t expensive.  Sort of a throw back to how things can be, and were, in NYC.  It’s not glitzy by any means and you’re not going to get the best gourmet meal but not everything has to be about shiny glass buildings and chi chi wine bars and Duane Reade’s on every corner and Wall Street myopia in New York City.  The ‘other’ is what makes New York complete and unique and what it’s renowned for … art and politics and community and grit and controversy and being on the f**king cutting edge … not wiping out all of its past and its future.  It’s something people like Mike Bloomberg say they understand (at least in campaign ads – where he’s all about the ‘average’ New Yorker and supporting small businesses) but so don’t.  After all, actions speak louder than words.  And it is Mike Bloomberg’s actions that are making the ‘other’ New York, places like Joe Jr’s, capsize and disappear.

Read Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York Blog piece today to hear the latest on Joe Jr.’s. It’s another story of a landlord, greed, a lost lease.  There’s a petition in the restaurant… perhaps venture by to sign it.

Note:  Joe Jr.’s did indeed close that Sunday.

Twelfth Street Books Closing – Moving to Brooklyn; $5 Books

12th street? not much longer

12th street? not much longer

Vanishing New York reports that Twelfth Street Books on 12th Street between Fifth Avenue and University Place is closing after ten years in this location, moving to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn (becoming Atlantic Books), and the Strip House (a steakhouse chain) next door is taking over its space.

Some history from VNY:

Sadly, in 1999, Strip House replaced 75-year-old Asti, “one of New York’s most beloved and treasured restaurants,” where the waitstaff sang opera while they served Italian dishes. Said one baritone at the time, “In the last decade, our customers either died, retired or could no longer afford to come regularly.” …

Of Mr. Glazier[owner], the Strip House website says he has “put a permanent mark on New York City’s history and landscape by taking ordinary locations and converting them into spectacular concepts.” Correction: Asti was the absolute opposite of ordinary and 12th Street Books is a rarity in a city hellbent on making bookstores disappear.

Asti was a sweet place (although I don’t recall being serenaded by the waiters) and represents the charm of not-ordinary New York, something the aesthetic of the glossy Strip House wouldn’t quite comprehend.

Not sure when the bookstore’s last day is (soon) but you can get a shopping bag of books for $5.

It feels wrong to just sit and watch everything glossed over in CEO Mayor Bloomberg’s New York. Would they put up with this in Boston?* Just curious.

*where the Mayor hails from.

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Photo: Baslow