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  • Photo: David, via Flickr



East side observer

BY ARLENE KAYATT

Little shops on the corner — Add to the commercial mix of mid-Manhattan the Lex Shopping Court at the northwest corner of Lex and 56th on the street level of what’s rumored to be the site of a high-end residence for senior living. The businesses in the neighborhood have been shuttered and shuttering in droves. Entire blocks of businesses are gone — from small retailers to Friday’s to either a T-Mobile or AT&T on the east side of Lex between 57th and 56th. A souvenir shop on the southwest corner bears a recent Marshal’s Notice. The yet-to-open court was described to me by one of the tenants as a “Christmas store, you know like Bryant Park” and Columbus Circle in Central Park and at least one near where the Bull and Fearless Girl stand in the Financial District. Not sure that the new Lex location is bringing smiles to some of the existing storefront businesses that are paying high rents and will be competing with the year-round Christmas shops. According to Lex Shopping Court tenants, who were busily stocking their shelves before the opening, they will be there for at least two years. The foot traffic in the area and along the street will be seriously impacted — it’s a busy commercial and residential district with a bus stop between 55th and 56th Streets. And let us not forget that 56th and Lex, an eastbound street, is in the direct path of traffic of our president’s Fifth Avenue home and is subject to closure at any time. So what does the new permanently temporary shopping court do for local residents and businesses? Did anyone ask? Did anyone care?

Fixe mix — Prix fixe menus usually consist of an entree, soup or salad, and dessert. Now, at some restaurants, you can swap out one of the above for a glass of wine. Happened on the UES at Parlor restaurant and at Little Frog. Nice to have good wine as part of the pickings.

Sound off — Speech is free. But not on T-shirts where you get to pay to print what you have to say. Literally, of course, when you buy the shirt. It’s too bad when you don’t share the sentiment and have to pay the price of standing behind two people — make that idiots — who are standing alongside each other with one wearing a T-shirt that says “I Have the Right to Be Violent,” and the other saying, “Yes He Does and I Like It.” Can’t tell them to shut up. And sure won’t tell them to take off their shirts.

Outfoxing — Yes, Fox News is leaning in and taking “fake news” and its not-so-great press seriously when it comes to gender, with its new noon entry, Outnumbered, on Channel 44, where the grid promotes and describes the programming: “Four female panelists and one male colleague share their perspective of the day’s top new stories.” Odd characterization of the talking heads. Sounds as if they’re talking about ABC’s The View without the Fox News’s good guy, Juan Williams.



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