The big story on East 7th Street these days is the opening of Thom Mayne's new student center for Cooper Union, on Third Avenue. It's a pretty wacky extravagance and it replaces a deadly dull building beloved by nobody. A block away, on the corner of Second, this story is reversed. Love Saves the Day, the iconic kitsch storefront that's been a local landmark for decades, has given way to a humorless brown excrescence. New York is losing its history one shop at a time, a sad attrition that is the subject of my new essay
magazine, which doubles as a review of the new book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York
, by James and Karla Murray. One of its many lessons: You wanna survive in this town? Buy the building.