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Rumblings & Bumblings Responses: Miss Ya, Marble; Gourmet's Goodbye; Library 101

1) Williamsburg: No one wanted to chime in about specifics regarding the rumored 15-story apartment building at 444 Graham Avenue, but there was some Marino Marble & Tile nostalgia: "I'm a little sad to see #444 go, but at least the business is staying in the neighborhood (Grand & Morgan). Now I gotta walk by yet another empty construction site for the next six years... let's hope they're good neighbors." Touching.

2) East Village: Also, no further information on the 18-floor residential building planned for the SE corner of 14th Street and Third Avenue. We do, however, have a picture of the corner, complete with the City Gourmet's moving sign. The sign is actually fairly spectacular (the word "chillax" is used), so we recommend dropping by.

3) Libraries: Did the NYPL sell off some properties under the table? Someone who knows way too much about libraries fills us in: "bloggers should never assume anything. I don't think the NYPL has actually sold either property yet, but the key word is YET."

The library is in the midst of a reorganization, ostensibly to address the historic split between the research and branch libraries. The 42nd Street library and the Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) at 34th Street are run by the Research Division, whereas both the Mid-Manhattan Library (the former Arnold Constable department store at the southeast corner of Fifth and 40th) and the Donnell on 53rd are part of the branch system. But, they are not ordinary branches; they are "central branches." Apparently, the notion is that, if you are going to fuse the two parts of the library, then central branches are illogical, inefficient duplications of the research libraries located in the same part of town. Cant aside, this all provides a convenient excuse to cash in on real estate, so NYPL intends to sell off both the Donnell and the Mid-Manhattan. A Mid-Manhattan lending library will presumably be stuffed somewhere in the 42nd Street building. Since the Mid-Manhattan Library contains five large floors of open stacks, that's a lot of stuffing. Historical note: As I recall, the Mid-Manhattan Library opened in 1982; before that, a lending library operated within the 42nd Street library, in one large room in the basement, which is now the Celeste Bartos auditorium.