Due to a misreading of one small letter (“E” vs “W”), I ended up having to walk down 46th street, across half of Manhattan (so, width-wise, but still) this evening. I saw the sign for the Gotham Book Mart, and thought “oh, yay, I’m going to be able to go to Gotham Book Mart on my way home from my first day on the new job tomorrow”. And then I saw the bars across the windows and the “building for sale” sign in the window. No matter, I thought, I know they moved a couple of years ago, so this must be the old site.
After I got to my hotel, I checked around, and realized the sad truth. So I walked back over and snapped this shot. The guy pictured seemed to be camped out there. He was writing furiously in a notebook both times I walked by, within about 90 minutes of each other. I’d like to pretend that he is just sitting there, waiting for them to re-open.
I feel a little like the chronicler of Lost Institutions on this blog sometimes, and, really, I’ve only been to Gotham Book Mart 4 or 5 times in my life, but, geez, this was like one of the most well-beloved bookstores in the epicenter of literary America. Who the hell else has a chance?!?