For more than 25 years, Jerry Delakas operated the beloved Astor Place newsstand beside the downtown 6 train entrance. The stand has become a neighborhood landmark, but it was abruptly taken away this week when the city's Department of Consumer Affairs shuttered the stand for "operating illegally." Delakas has spent the last few years tangled in a legal battle with the city over whether or not he can stay, but the DCA evidently decided enough was enough this week. According to Jeremiah Moss, Delakas found a new padlock on his stand on Tuesday morning. He thought someone broke in until he saw the sign from the DCA. Delakas says the DCA never told him they'd be seizing his stand. He now has 11 days to appeal the ruling that he pay $37,000 or vacate.
The trouble began for Delakas back in 2010 when the man he was renting the stand from passed away. He first took over the newsstand in 1987, when the owner, Katherine Ashley, agreed to let him rent it for $75/week. The Village Voice recounts that her husband continued with the arrangement after she died, but when he passed away in 2010, the city would not let the license transfer to Delakas since he was not a family member. A number of petitions and community groups have tried to get the city to change its ruling, but clearly, that's not happening.
· City shutters Jerry's Newsstand on Astor Place for 'operating illegally' [EVG]
· Jerry Out In The Cold [VNY]
· City Shuts Down Beloved Astor Place Newsstand [Runnin' Scared]
Photo via Jeremiah Moss/Vanishing New York