Sixty-two-year-old Jerry Delakas, the beloved Man Who Runs the Astor Place Newsstand, is being booted from his prime spot of magazine-hustling real estate (near Astor Place’s landmark large spinning cube, in Greenwich Village), after New York City officials learned he lacks the license his newsstand requires. Sure, sounds like his newsstand’s illegal then, but officials learned this after Delakas, a Greek immigrant, had already been doing business in the spot for a quarter-century, so the man is asking the city to just cut him a break. (What’s more, the city’s decision contradicts the dying wish of the woman who held the newsstand’s required license, who gladly allowed Delakas to operate the stand, in a sublet agreement, and designated him its heir.)
“I’ve paid my taxes,” Delakas said. “This is what I want to do. This is what I am.” Greenwich Village residents call the man an icon — he appeared in the Sex & the City movie, after all — and many of them are rallying for the city to reverse its position. Naturally, though, city officials haven’t actually enforced their ruling yet. And they’re questioning his professionalism?