It has been a very active week for businesses on my block. One bit of good news, one bit of bad news and one bit of news that I'm not so sure about.
First, the good news. After a long period of renovation the Queens Library across from my apartment building has finally reopened. Goodbye, Borders and Barnes and Noble! Your services are no longer required (don't worry, Midtown Comics. Our love affair will last forever). For some reason, the branch across the street is the Steinway Branch. We don't live near Steinway so I don't know why that's what they call it. The building itself looks cool and is architecturally unusual, but the inside was way out of date and not user-friendly. When I realized the library closed, I was intrigued at what they would do to improve it. Honestly, I thought they would never open it again, hard economic times being what they are. But it did!
And things inside are... better? I guess? It feels like they opened a little earlier than planned. Not all the sections are labeled, making it hard to find books. Also making it hard to find books? There are no computer stations specifically set up to search the library catalog! How can this be? There are computers for internet purposes, but none to find books within the library. It's weird. You're also now expected to check out your own books at automated check-out stations. The staff can't be bothered with checking you out anymore! They are too busy trying to help people find books in sections that got moved around on the floor, but are now unlabeled. I guess they'll find a book for you, but it's your responsibility from that point on. Still, it's nice to have the library open again. I was able to find the book I wanted after a few minutes of sleuthing. Now I just need to remember to return my book on time, because those late fees are STEEP.
On the same day that the Library opened, the bakery next door shut its doors forever. This came as a shock and disappointment as that bakery made really awesome cakes and didn't charge an arm and a leg for them. I was planning on getting my birthday cake there in just a few weeks! I was very sad to walk out of the library and see that the sign had been taken down and the whole inside GUTTED. Seriously, is something new coming in there, like November 1st? I can't believe how quickly they ripped it apart. And couldn't they have had a going out of business cake sale? I'm still harboring a dream that it will just come back s a completely redone super-fantastic new bakery with the same great cakes... but it doesn't look good, folks. Sigh.
And now for the new store that has me a little nervous: Game Stop. A new Game Stop is moving in right by the entrance to the subway. They just started loading in the games yesterday. In the past year or so, I've been pretty good about not spending too much time and money on video games. A lot of that though has had to do with the fact that there was no fast outlet to buying games near my house. There was no visual temptation. But now? Everyday when I get off the subway?? This is not gonna be easy. And I really did want to pick up Batman: Arkham Asylum... no! Resist! (Or at least put it on my birthday list for the family.)
You know what they say, when Jeebus closes one store, he opens another. I wish Game Stop well and whatever takes over for the bakery as well. It's much better to walk by new stores on your block than a bunch of for rent signs. So keep those registers ringing!