Bowery Newsstand Battles for Life Against Cemusa

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 at 6:09 am by

There’s a rather interesting item on the Community Board 3 agenda for Wednesday night. One that is years in the making, and most definitely stands apart from the other six listed. That of the newsstand at 18 Bowery.

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Photo Credit: JL

For the last thirty-five years, Marilyn Louie and her family have run the old school newsstand at the corner of Bowery and Pell Street. Now the city and its army of soulless Cemusa minions are looking to boot the business. The exact ultimatum she received – move across the thoroughfare and pay for a new Cemusa box or shut down altogether. Yeah, right, that seems fair.

As it stands, the Department of Consumer Affairs requires all newsstands to occupy no more than 72 square-feet of sidewalk space, and be under nine feet tall. The cost of constructing a new Cemusa box in 2010 was approximately $29,000. It’d certainly cost more now.

Louie is fighting an uphill battle of inches, really. One irate reader reached out to say that the DCA has “decided” to act since Louie’s footprint reduces the proper 9’6″ sidewalk clearance path by three inches. A second-opinion survey commissioned by the family reportedly shows the reduction to be a mere 1.5 inches, and that simple steps can be taken to rectify the situation (i.e. rejiggering the structure itself). Sources say that the owner is seeking protection under the grandfather clause to continue the operation, and will fight for her rights at CB3’s committee meeting Wednesday night.

Seems like a load of bureaucratic bullshit (and a total waste of resources), all for just a few inches. Below is Marilyn Louie’s petition to the community.

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