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Save Gem Spa

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by

Maria Pleshkevich

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Save Gem Spa

Save Gem Spa
Starbucks and Barnes and Noble plan on building a new store in Gem Spa's location. We must stop these corporate "big guys" from demolishing one of the most prized small businesses of New York!
What is
?
It is....
A 24 hour newsstand in Manhattan’s East Village (St. Mark's and 2nd Ave)
A convenience store with magazines, candy, soda, etc.
The place of origin of New York’s famous Egg Cream

It is crucial to preserve Gem Spa because it is a place of important New York City history and is integral to its diverse character. Its continued existence shows the ways in which New York’s diverse groups of people have interacted and survived throughout the years.

Gem Spa in the 1920
Has been running ever since the 1920s when it was started up by a Jewish immigrant family

Held many immigrant newspapers: Jewish, German, Russian, Italian etc.

One of the only places where immigrant diversity was encouraged and where it flourished through publications despite all of the negative stigmas against immigrants (e.x. The Palmer Raids).

The fact that its origin lies specifically with the circulation of ‘different’ news signifies its importance to New York City as a whole: just as New York was created by immigrants, so was Gem Spa

Gem Spa in the 1950s
The beat movement originated in East Village with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac (and others)

As a newsstand, Gem Spa was responsible for spreading beat ideas.

Gem Spa influenced their writings. For Example, Ginsberg mentions Gem Spa in his poem “Rain-wet Asphalt Heat, Garbage Curbed Cans Overflowing”

Gem Spa in the 1980s/1970s
Gem Spa has been able to survive through the crime and disarray of the 70s and 80s, paralleling New York City as a whole.

During this time it helped spread New York’s psychedelic and punk subculture.

Appeared on the back of New York City Doll’s album.

Gem Spa Today
Gem Spa still sells newspapers from The New York Times to Irish Voice.

It is the place where many immigrants go to buy their newspapers, such as the Russian "V Novom Svete"

It receives newspapers a few days earlier than most other newsstands in New York City.

It still sells many practical products such as toothpaste and shampoo.

While Starbucks serves fancy drinks, Gem Spa serves the most delicious egg cream that can’t be found anywhere else.

Who needs Starbucks and Barnes and Noble when you can read and purchase drinks at one of New York most important landmarks?

You can drink the same egg cream that Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, and Allen Ginsberg drank!
Throughout history, Gem Spa has progressed literary and cultural movements—it could progress movements of the future.

Destroying Gem Spa would be like
destroying a little integral piece of New York History.
Full transcript