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Small Business EVERYday

Black Friday: Photograph by Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo via businessweek.com

A week ago we were surrounded by ads for “Black Friday,” a day many people spend doing their holiday shopping at the big box stores. A few years ago, “Small Business Saturday” was created, to promote the independent retailers and other businesses. That’s nice, but maybe one day is not enough. How about “Small Business EVERYday” to help support the small businesses that make Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo so special.

Now that gift-giving season is in full swing, there are some great books, and book sellers, for you to consider. If you believe in and support historic preservation, take a stroll and visit these endangered retailers and let your money do the talking. We all hate when we learn that yet another cherished and long-standing neighborhood business has to close its doors. One way to prevent that is to be a customer.

This may sound hopelessly dated, as so many of us buy online with a credit card and have things shipped to us (which increases your carbon footprint.)  So you may be thinking, “Am I supposed to walk to a store, and buy a copy of a book, like you mean a ‘printed’ book, in person? What is this, a Norman Rockwell painting?”

Of course life is not a Norman Rockwell painting. But the other night we did a program with photographers James & Karla Murray, who live in the East Village. They have been taking photographs of interesting storefronts of small businesses for many years now, and have published two books of those photos. Sadly, many of the stores and other businesses they photographed have closed. Karla reminded us that one of the reasons these stores close is simply lack of business. If we don’t shop at these stores and spend money, we are contributing to their demise. Please don’t let that happen.

Here is a list of books that we have featured this year at our free public programs:

Greenwich Village Stories edited by Judith Stonehill

STORE FRONT– The Disappearing Face of New York by James & Karla Murray

NEW YORK NIGHTS by James & Karla Murray

Point of View New York City by Janko Puls

Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger by Kelly Cogswell

Footprints in New York by James and Michelle Nevius

New York 1969 by Richard Blair

Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City by Robin Nagle

Metamorphosis by Brian Rose

Fighting Westway by William Buzbee

The Battle of the Five Spot by David Lee

And here is a list of book retailers located in Greenwich Village, NoHo, and the East Village:

Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books, 34 Carmine Street (2014 Village Award winner)

Mercer Street Books, 206 Mercer Street

St. Marks Bookshop, 136 East 3rd Street (2007 Village Award winner)

Three Lives & Company, 154 West 10th Street (1991 Village Award winner)

Book Book, 266 Bleecker Street

Strand Books, 828 Broadway at 12th Street

And if you have been good this year, you should buy one (or more) of these books for yourself!

P.S. — The local small businesses shown below have all closed in the last year or so.

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