Neighbors in a neighborhood in New York save their bookstore | Culture

The past was a bad year for business by Dorian Thornley. It is the pattern of a tiny liberia in the New York neighborhood of the Upper West Side. It is located right in front of Zabar's, the supermarket that Woody Allen became an icon, and just a couple of streets from one of the Barnes & Nobles that remain open in New York. Last Monday, he hung a sign on the door announcing that it was closing at the end of February.

What Thornley did not expect was that he was going to have to remove it in a week. As this little entrepreneur says, "New York can be a crazy place." But when it comes to pitching in, New Yorkers are exemplary. His neighbors mobilized and now Westsider Rare & Used Books has a second chance. Nearly 800 clients put $ 50,000 out of their pocket to save her.

The initiative was Bobby Panza. One day after the closing was announced, he launched a campaign in GoFundMe to raise the necessary funds to ensure that this gem was not lost. In just 12 hours, the first $ 10,000 was raised. The response was incredible and together they removed the "Going out of business" on Monday. Olivia Lucas, an employee, does not hide her emotion when speaking.

Thornley took over the store in 2002. But it's been there, on Broadway, between 80th and 81st streets, since 1984. It was originally called Gryphon Books. Three blocks above, turning towards Amsterdam Avenue, is the coffee Lalo, famous among tourists who go up the Upper West Side because there was filmed "You Got Mail", starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. They play the role of two rival booksellers who fall in love.

The books occupy up to the last possible gap. The place is very narrow. Despite being so small, the sensation of adventure is not lost when exploring it. As one client says, it's chaotic enough to fuel the curiosity to keep looking. And if you get lost, Olivia is always willing to act as a compass. Unlike other second-hand stores, the titles are well preserved.

The owner of Westsider Rare & Used Books says he will do what is humanly possible to keep it open. Neighbors were already mobilized when the Barnes & Nobles chain decided it was going to close its bookstore in Manhattan. They refused to let the Internet revolution take a space for debate that they considered was part of cultural life. The one in Lincoln Center closed.


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