Monday, June 27, 2022
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Fred Bass, the 89-year-old co-owner of The Strand, died yesterday. The cause was congestive heart failure, according to multiple published reports.
There's a tribute to him outside the four-level store on Broadway at 12th Street, as these photos by EVG regular Daniel show...
Several outlets have published features on his legacy, including at The New York Review of Books ... and Quartz.
His daughter, Nancy Bass Wyden, will reportedly continue on with the ownership of the Strand.
It is with a heavy heart we share that Strand’s owner, Fred Bass, passed away early this morning at home surrounded by loved ones at the age of 89. We thank Fred for his passion and dedication, and our thoughts are with the Bass family. https://t.co/GZ3G6Lg3YB pic.twitter.com/w0U3AS1t9A— Strand Book Store (@strandbookstore) January 3, 2018
In case you missed this news from yesterday.
Here's part of the obituary from the Times:
Mr. Bass was 13 when he began working at the Strand, founded by his father, Benjamin. At the time, it was one of nearly 50 such stores along Fourth Avenue.
Except for two years in the Army, he never left, until retiring in November 2017.
A year after taking over as manager of the store in 1956, he moved it from Fourth Avenue to its present location, on Broadway at 12th Street, where it occupied half the ground floor of what had been a clothing business. He set the Strand on a path of unstoppable expansion, taking over the entire first floor, then, in the 1970s, the top three floors, and adding an antiquarian department.
Bass bought the building on Broadway at 12th Street for $8.2 million in 1997. His daughter, Nancy Bass Wyden, now owns the business.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Join us for an exclusive evening in Strand’s rare book room to honor the paperback release of Richard Hell’s acclaimed I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp. The autobiography has been called “A candid, sometimes brutal tour of punk’s gritty early days" by The New York Times Magazine, and "radically self-aware…wielding prose keen as a diamond knife" by cultural critic Luc Sante.
Richard will read briefly from I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp before being interviewed by NYU professor Bryan Waterman (author of the 33 1/3 volume Marquee Moon), and will then take audience questions. At the evening’s conclusion, Richard will inscribe copies of I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp. No other memorabilia, please.
Buy a copy of I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp or a $15 Strand gift card in order to attend this event, which will be located in the Strand's 3rd floor Rare Book Room at our store at 828 Broadway at 12th Street.
The event is from 7-8 p.m.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Richard Hell on his East Village apartment
Friday, November 15, 2013
As DNAinfo first reported yesterday, the Strand installed an outdoor sprinkler system to drive away homeless people sleeping under their red awning along East 12th Street, according to employees. (Management had said the sprinklers were there to clean off the sidewalk.)
The incident prompted Strand employee Greg Farrell to draw a comic based on his firsthand experience of the situation.
The comic is posted at the blog "Strand Ask Us," a nine-part account of the labor struggle that took place between the workers and management at the bookstore in the spring of 2012. (A book on this is due next year from Microcosm publishing.)
Farrell said that the sprinklers were installed this past summer. "So, in fairness, there was no risk of anybody freezing to death at the time."
At Vanishing New York, Jeremiah Moss discusses the sprinkler situation ...:
So many of the corporations in the city do horrible, inhumane things every day, on a much larger, often global scale, than spraying water on the homeless. Boycott the businesses that rely on sweatshop and child labor. Boycott the businesses that commit horrifying daily acts of animal cruelty. Boycott the businesses that deliberately destroy the fabric of our communities--and our environment. Do not boycott the Strand. To attack the Strand and not Apple, Amazon, The Gap, and others like them, is a gross misplacement of anger and energy.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
"It was to keep people from sleeping out there," said a Strand bookseller who asked that her name not be used. "People used to sleep over there and in the morning we have to put out the book carts, so it was a little bit difficult and uncomfortable for some people."
However, a store manager denied that the sprinklers were intended to drive away the homeless, rather that they are used for cleaning the sidewalk.
And a reaction from Marcus Moore of Picture the Homeless: The sprinkler tactic was "an attack on the homeless population" and "this is not what caring people do to each other."
Friday, January 22, 2010
...and now, I just noticed that a Lot Less closeout store has taken over the space...
One more strike against the reinvention of Fulton Street and FiDi...
Thursday, March 5, 2009
And yes -- this building once housed the Strand Annex. That space is still empty.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
And so the 15,000-square-foot space sits empty.
This box was out front the day I walked by...
At least locals can console themselves with another Dunkin' Donuts opening down the street.
[Top Strand photo taken for Downtown Express by by Jefferson Siegel]
Friday, May 2, 2008
Nice piece of reporting in this week's issue of New York Press. Apparently the Strand is a horrible place to work, with allegations of racial discrimination as well as insensitive treatment of pregnant workers. Not to mention the vermin.
"It’s not the East village hipster bookstore it’s presented to be,” said one current 26-year-old male employee. “It’s a corporation, and it’s run like that."
An aside, I didn't realize that corridor along Broadway was once a haven for book stores. According to the article: "In 1927, Ben Bass opened the Strand on Fourth Avenue, which was also known as Book Row, a stretch from Union Square to Astor Place filled with 48 bookstores. Today, the Strand is the only one that remains in operation."
Another aside. Thinking about something Alex wrote at Flaming Pablum: "I fear that very soon, all the record stores in Manhattan -- big and small, corporate and independent -- will be a thing of the past. And that, my friends, is going to be a sad day. And book stores will be the next to go."
I hate to say that he's going to be right...but he's going to be right.
And, uh, an aside to the asides: Sure, I'm used to advertising being on Page 1, but those American Apparel ads are really annoying.