Since the early 1950s, perhaps earlier, the low slung red brick building on the corner of Vandam and Varick in the Village was the home to the country's first Spanish language newspaper, El Diario/La Prensa. On March 11, 1992, Manuel de Dios Unanuem, the editor of El Diario, was shot and killed by a member of a Columbian drug cartel bent on revenge for Unaneum's courageous reporting against the Columbian drug warlords.
El Diario eventually left Varick, but is still going strong. The building the paper occupied has been empty for years, or so I thought. Today, I noticed it's a beautiful new, block long City Winery! Now, open businesses are better than closed ones, but this corner of the Village has been overrun of late. Of course, a Starbucks is across the street. Across from that, a giant 40 story Trump Tower is being built, this in an old industrial area that wasn't zoned for condos, until Mayor Bloomberg, against all local protests and Landmark Preservation committee requests, pushed it through.
Oh, Trump was in such a rush to beat the hearings on the construction (before Bloomie gave him a pass) that one guy laying concrete fell off the 37th floor and died. But still the blue glass goes up. Nice bar, eh? That barrel to the right adds an "old Village touch."
Here's where the hostess will check you out. Hmm. What are you wearing, sir?
The window of high end clothier, Atelier, also across from City Winery. Don't these shoes looked used to you?
Wrinkled shoes for $500 a pair? This is the future of the Village I am afraid...