We have heard about several recent openings and closings in the neighborhood, including a well-loved toy store and a longtime preschool.
Planet Kids on 69th street and Amsterdam is closing. “We’ve become more of a showroom for our customers,” owner Ariel Tavasi told DNAinfo. “They come in to look at the merchandise and ask questions, but then they leave and try find cheaper prices online.” The store, which opened in 1999, is set to close on Feb. 28. It’s having a clearance sale until then.
The K&S Market on 92nd and Broadway got a reprieve from its landlord, so it may be open for awhile longer, Linda Rosenthal tells us. We reported in January that it was closing.
The Variazioni women’s clothing store at 101st street and Broadway is sporting a “for rent” sign. This is getting to be a trend for the chain.
A preschool that’s been around for 25 years is likely to close after the church where it is located declined to renew its lease, according to New York Press. “The West Side Preschool, at 165 West 105th Street, rents space from the West End Presbyterian Church at the same address. The school has negotiated a series of five-year leases since 1989, but was recently informed that it would only be offered a one-year lease going forward, and that the rent increase would make any deal unworkable.”
A Jewish preschool is likely to take over the space. “The letter goes on to say that the Congregation Romemu, a different tenant in the church since 2008, wished to take over the entire parish house and invest a million dollars in renovations while renting the space for the next 50 years.”
The Citi Habitats office at 72nd street near West End Avenue has closed.
Ehrlich’s Wines & Spirits on 70th and Amsterdam was set to reopen on Feb. 15 after being closed for about a month.
A sad commentary that though the 20 and 30 something folks moving into the neighborhood are very,very affluent, they won’t bother with neighborhood stores such as Planet Kids. Not only shopping online, but heading into their SUVs to shop in the suburbs….
I really think the easy online stereotyping of one group needs to stop. Among certain sects of New York, it has become acceptable to blame everything wrong with a group that is basically young adults, but also called: hipsters, yuppies, new arrivals, wall street d bags (or worse), stock brokers.
I would ask you to replace your derogatory name for a young person with black, asian, gay, jewish, spanish, etc.
Now that would not be acceptable, correct?
The same should apply to this new scapegoat.
Actually, no. The categories you would substitute in your abbreviated civics lesson are characterizations — that is, descriptions of who people are. Those are fundamental, immutable characteristics, and we have quite rightly decided as a society that it is unfair and just wrong to penalize people when they never had a choice to make.
On the other hand, the qualities people have been discussing here — “Wall Street D Bags”, I *love* it! — are *what* those people choose to be, and *how* they choose to behave. They have defined themselves in that way. I don’t care how much melanin your skin contains, or what language your parents spoke, BUT when you bring your gobs of moolah into my neighborhood, buy up multiple residences and make any that remain unaffordable for all but your own kind, well, I don’t like you.
And I reserve the right to dislike you for the way you behave. Not how you were born, but how you have chosen to behave.
AND, for whatever it’s worth in this discussion, there *are* a lot more SUVs and other “luxury” cars in this neighborhood than there used to be. Maybe they’re not taking them to suburban malls to shop (I tend to agree with the suggestion that they’re buying on-line), and maybe there still are struggling non-Banker 20-somethings in the neighborhood (Trader Joe’s would go out of business if there weren’t — or at least the rest of us could get in), but the wealth profile of this neighborhood is way, way higher than it used to be. How can anyone dispute that?
Well, I don’t know if that was a figure of speech or not about 20 and 30 somethings owning SUVs. All I know (and I know plenty up here on the UWS) is that more and more people in their 20’s and 30’s are more and more affluent up here than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, and I grew up here.
All the previous replies have pretty much demolished “Ellen’s” specious argument that SUV-suburban-shopping-slogs destroyed Planet Kids, so no point beating that expired equine.
WHAT really destroyed Planet Kids is … PLANET KIDS !!!
The store was OVER-PRICED (either misjudging its clientele or being a parasite) and its STAFF WAS COLD, UNWELCOMING, AND UNFRIENDLY.
Not a good way to run a neighborhood business, especially when great sites like FatBrain and even Barnes & Noble do a much better job.
Actually it depends where you live on the UWS and whether or not you are single or married with children etc. or single with child. I have seen doormen go out to these cars with carts collecting bag that say Stop and Shop. We have very affluent neighbors who do own or rent cars. If the building has a garage it’s a certainty.
Ellen. I’m 30, considered affluent, and just moved to the UWS. Many of my friends live on the UWS side. NONE own cars and only go to the suburbs to visit with family. And by the way, suburban retail space is suffering even worse than it is in cities; shopping malls will be extinct in 20 years.
You’re comment isn’t really valid or sound..
If someone is wealthy, don’t you think that they would be purchasing their things at the most convenient (closest) place, regardless of the price? For someone who can afford it, not having to wait and not having to “drive to the suburbs” seems like it would be a much more logical option.
I would venture to guess that many people in that age range on the UWS are either students who make no money and are usually in some sort of debt, or young professionals who make a starting salary. I’m a student and I buy almost everything on amazon because I am broke as a joke.
I understand your frustration, but I find it incredibly hard to believe that your utopia of only 40+ year old neighbors would lead to an interesting and active community.
Ellen, do you have any statistics to support that young folks are moving to the UWS and that they own cars and that those cars are SUVs and that they drive these SUVs to the suburbs to shop for toys instead of buying locally? Seems fairly far-fetched and like the typical nonsense comment one might find on west side rag.
What 20-something in manhattan really owns an SUV!? As a 20 something on the UWS I have to say this is a wildly false statement Ellen. Sorry.
Actually they do in the newer buildings in the West 70s but they are more like late 20s and up. And if they do not own they rent a car for that trip to NJ. In addition we are soon to get a Hamptons Jitney so tar
beach on the roof is officially over.
According to their website, the preschool isn’t “likely” to close…it IS going to close :-/
I loved Planet Kids. I used to shop there all the time for friends’ kids and now for my own. Sad.
Ellen I think you are wrong about that. I am actually in that 30s set and we don’t have a car, nor do a lot of our friends. Further, none of our friends shop in the suburbs even if they do have cars. Online options are the reason for this – you can get everything including toys in one fell swoop on Diapers. Stores need to update their fulfillment options – offer delivery on things, easy ordering, online options – if they want to continue. Albee has done this and we’ve ordered from them quite a bit. It’s evolution of the retail marketplace, not a car/suburbs/rich people moving to the UWS issue. Give me a break.
I went into the Variazioni on 101 the other day and asked them about the for rent sign and if they were leaving. The woman said, “No, we’re not going anywhere! We’re just negotiating the rent with the landlord.” Same landlord for both stores?
Fantastic about Erlich’s! I was worried they were gone for good.
Sad about Planet Kids. Disagree w/poster above about the staff. I thought they were great, esp. the black guy (sorry, don’t know his name) who helped with the strollers. He was fantastic. We bought 3 from him.
I think it is more online competition than anything else. Amazon, Diapers.com, etc…..
Ban evening social media use and teach your kids to use a sewing machine. Then, when their eventual liberal arts degree proves useless, they’ll even have an actual skill to fall back on, and maybe even their own label.
I would point out that affluent, twenty-or-thirty-something yuppies, hipsters or Wall Street types who live in the neighborhood, regardless of whether they “have SUVs” or “shop online,” all pay New York City income taxes as residents….
don’t be so sure that they pay NYC taxes – most of them live in condos and claim their out of town weekend vacation homes as their primary residences … just sayin’.
Margaret – Do you have any proof or evidence of this outrageous sentiment?
I didn’t think so. ….. Just sayin’
This is unbelievable. Is there any other neighborhood that hates its own affluent residents more than the Upper West Side? Do you know what these evil, rich, SUV-driving bankers, lawyers, and doctors are doing? They are paying NYC taxes, shopping at West Side Market, having a glass of wine at Buceo 95, and dining at Regional or the new Vino Levantino. In short, they are supporting the neighborhood. Without them, these places wouldn’t exist, which would cause me to shop, drink, and dine elsewhere.
We should be thankful for anyone that wants to come to the UWS to pay rent, buy a condo, and – Heaven forbid – renovate a shabby townhouse so they can keep their family in the City, and preferably, our own back yard.
Thank you PRL., could not agree more.
Also, point out that the top pay the vast majority of city taxes (something like top 1% pay 95% of the tax), which we all rely on. Why demonize them? Better they move to Greenwich CT and paid nothing in City taxes?
FYI, I am NOT one of the rich, but I do not blame them either.
Also, the UWS has ALWAYS had its rich areas – even at its worst, Central Park West was always prime with West End and Riverside Drive also being wealthy.
It is a sad day that The West Side Preschool will have to close its doors due to the greed of the church in which we reside. After 25 years of offering an affordable and excellent preschool we are being forced out by the church in the hope that they can work out a deal with another space sharer that is barely an option which will cost millions. We are grandfathered in this space and no other school can operate due to the new codes. It remains shocking when the mission statement from the church is “We believe that in the 125-year history of West End Presbyterian Church, God has charged our congregation to be inclusive, forward-thinking, generous of spirit, and supportive of the community”.
The community will suffer when we close and for one reason only…rent.
INVENTOR’S GATE PRESCHOOL, opens September 2015
160 West 82nd Street
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Children have many needs: one is to discover the world around them. At Inventor’s Gate Pre-School your children will be given the guidance, tools, space and classmates to build, describe, succeed, fail, lose and win. In other words; they will learn to learn. A paper airplane contest after weeks of practice in folding and making their own planes will give students a wonderful sense of satisfaction. A walk to the firehouse, time in the local bookstore, playing tag in the playground at Central Park are all part of an education that will help children invent and reinvent who they are, these will be some of the many activities that fill your child’s day at Inventor’s Gate Preschool, licensed by the Department of Health, Bureau of Daycare of the City of New York
Noteworthy: “Our mission at Inventor’s Gate Pre-School is to prepare your child for the next day the next year and the next stage in his higher education. Children who attend Inventor’s Gate will arrive each day with eagerness and curiosity and leave with accomplishment. Your child will be eager to share her ideas with family and friends. Teachers at Inventor’s gate will offer your children challenging interesting days that give them the opportunity to build the skills needed to be creative thinkers. We will channel the curiosity of children into constructive pursuits in science, math, architecture, music, storytelling and reading. Pianos, paper airplanes, digital photography, reading, games of strategy and tactics, clay, blocks, puzzles, books and fresh air will be part of your child’s day at Inventor’s Gate. Students who are part of the Inventor’s Gate community will have many very good options for Kindergarten. Your child will be well prepared.”