There Goes the Neighborhood: Longstanding UWS Lefty Emporium to Close


Photo: S. Jhoanna Robledo

Isn’t the Upper West Side — especially the upper reaches of the eighties and into the nineties (and well into the hundreds) — supposed to be for lefty intellectual sorts following familiar routines in their sprawling, rent-controlled prewars? Not anymore, it increasingly seems. The owners of Liberty House, a neighborhood fixture on Broadway and 92nd, posted a sign two days ago announcing it will close its doors after 39 years in business, leaving area residents wondering where they’ll find antiwar posters, jewelry handmade by local artisans, and Frida Kahlo tchotchkes.

Liberty House is fifth independent shop to close in a several-block stretch of Broadway in just the last six months: Embassy Florist, which has been in the neighborhood for nearly nine decades, shuttered about a month ago, as well as hipster clothing purveyor Sude, T-shirt place La Brea, and, early this year, Ivy’s Books and its detective-thrillers-focused cousin, Murder Ink — which means the retail character of the area is changing. “It’s a sprawling suburban mall without the convenience of parking,” says Jill Putterman, a psychologist who lives nearby. Expect a bank, a drugstore, or a chain (paging Claire’s) in the space soon, no doubt. —S. Jhoanna Robledo