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New street furniture

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  • New street furniture

    Well, we got spanking new bus shelters in front of the Clearview Chelsea cinemas a few months back (the spring?). Today, I noticed that the old, brown eyebrow newsstand outside the subway stairs on the northeast corner of 23rd and 8th, outside the Gap, has also been removed. It's now a shiny, personality-free metal hutch, with no overhang, emblazoned with the name "CEMUSA" on the side (the manufacturer).

    Crews are still in the process of pouring cement around it and stabilizing it, but I hope that when it re-opens, it still has the same charm and local appeal as the previous newsstand. I hope the original proprietors are still operating it, too. Too often, these "upgrades" are used as pretexts to give proprietorship to the highest bidder rather than keeping it with neighborhood long-termers.

    It's also interesting that the newsstand is being rebuilt in the same spot as the old one. It seems that this would have been a wonderful opportunity to shift it about 10 feet east, so that its location wouldn't create such a bottleneck of pedestrian traffic between the subway stairs.