"Frequented by celebrities, top-name designers, wealthy New Yorkers, and foreign businessmen, the customers were, to say the least, demanding. The proximity to prominence—Hey, isn’t that Uma Thurman over there? Look out, Lagerfeld just walked in—and the baroque décor helped to compensate for the poor pay, the short lunch breaks, and the occasional verbal abuse from those we served. During my years there, Madonna, Michael Jackson, the Queen of Thailand, and Elton John all dropped in. Oriana Fallaci had an office on the sixth floor and would storm in and out as if war had just been declared. We learned to affect nonchalance in the presence of such glamour. When David Bowie came up to the register one afternoon, my colleague Lara Tomlin (now an illustrator whose work has appeared in The New Yorker) looked at the name on his credit card—David Jones—and quipped, “Hey, weren’t you in the Monkees?” (For the record, Bowie was a good sport. He laughed.)"
Commerce Rizzoli, the (in)famous bookshop at 31 West Fifty-seventh Street in New York is looking for a new home thanks to the news that its building and a few others are to be demolished to make way for yet another skyscraper. Jon Michaud laments its passing in The New Yorker: