Jerry: East Village Icon and Newspaper Guy




Jerry

The East Village has had plenty of turnover in the past 15 or so years. And through it all, Jerry has remained the one constant for me.

Always willing to trade a “hello”, have a little chat and dish the latest on East Village surroundings and architecture, his newsstand has been a required stop on my daily or weekly tours of the East Village.

Even though, for years, he has been selling me The New York Times and the occasional magazine, to others, he may be best known (or his stand) for giving out new copies of the Village Voice every Thursday night when it was fresh with apartment listings – prior to the existence of Craigslist.

In the past few months, the city put finishing touches on Jerry’s new newsstand. The sturdy metallic construction keeps him drier and warmer than when he used to lean on a stack of magazines in a growing puddle or hide behind the swinging doors of an antiquated news shack during a blustery East Village winter day. Good for Jerry – he deserves it.

Jerry sells the news and is a news source. He can provide details on a wide-range of celebrity sightings which include the ubiquitous, Britney Spears, among others. At the opposite end of the spectrum, he can tell you about the day the first plane flew over on 9/11.

Jerry has favorite phrases including “It’s always something” and “same as always.” The first phrase is usually offered at the end of a rant. The second phrase might be in response to a question like ‘How’s business?’ or about his health.

The other day, Jerry announced to me that he thinks – in 10 years – The Bowery will become the next Fifth Avenue due to the once unimagineable increase in hotels and condominiums currently under construction. (Hmm… the Cooper Square Hotel definitely looks to be priced similar to the Pierre – or The Bowery Hotel down the block. And, The Bowery does have a large museum now – New Museum. Maybe he’s right?)

I have a feeling Jerry will be around in 10 years to see whether it happens or not. At least, I hope so. Because whatever is built on the Bowery isn’t worth half as much as who’s in the newsstand on Lafayette and 8th Street in 10003.

 

January 20th, 2008

Entry Filed under: East Village, New York City



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