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kottke.org posts about rachelbarrett

Old NYC newsstands

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2008

For the past two years, photographer Rachel Barrett has been documenting NYC’s vanishing newsstands as the city replaces them in favor of more modern kiosks. Here’s a slideshow.

Until recently, newsstand operators owned their stands and paid the city $1,000 for two-year licenses. In 2003, the city enacted Local Law 64, which required owners to give up their stands but allowed them to operate city-owned structures at no cost. In 2006, the city signed a contract with the Spanish conglomerate Cemusa to build 3,300 bus shelters, 300 newsstands and 20 public toilets.

More photos are available on Barrett’s web site. One of these new stand just went up by my office and has all the personality of a block of concrete. The new stands are also super tall so that the cashier towers over the customer, creating a weird impersonal dynamic and, for those of below average height, a need to stretch to hand your money over.