Strand Bookstore Celebrates 90 Years

From Book Row to Broadway, How Your Favorite Neighborhood Store Has Grown and Stayed the Same

Strand in 1938. Photo Credit: NY History Walks

Any trip to New York isn’t complete without a trip to Union Square and New York City institution, Strand Bookstore. Over the years, Strand has been featured as a favorite by press by The New York Times, New Yorker, Gothamist, TimeOut New York and many more. Not only is it the largest indie bookstore in the city, it’s also the largest family-run bookstore in the country, owned across three generations of the Bass Family.

Fred Bass and daughter Nancy Bass in Strand Bookstore in 2016. Photo Courtesy Strand Bookstore.

From the 1890s to the 1960s, 48 bookstores lined 4th Avenue from Union Square to Astor Place, then known as “Book Row.” Ben Bass opened the used bookstore at the age of 25. It was his son Fred’s idea to move Strand to its current location at 828 Broadway from Book Row in 1957 – today’s its the sole survivor of the historic shops. With its flagship based here in Union Square, you can now find Strand across the city with kiosks in Times Square and Central Park, inside Club Monaco on 5th Avenue, in SoHo at Artist & Fleas, and even quarterly in your mailbox with the Book HookUp subscription box.

Photo Courtesy Strand Bookstore.

Did You Know… Continue reading

Free and Green Earth Day Celebrations in Union Square

Enjoy a Car Free Broadway, Special Events, Plastic Cleanse and More

Students of the Convent of the Sacred Heart School sweeping in Union Square Park on the first Earth day on April 22, 1970. Photo credit: National Geographic

Ever since the inaugural Earth Day celebration in Union Square in 1970, our park and public plazas have continued to be a draw for thousands to celebrate Earth Day each year. Here’s how you can celebrate Earth Day this year right here in Union Square.

Earth Day Initiative Celebration

On Tuesday, April 18th from 12 – 7 PM join Earth Day Initiative to meet environmental non-profits, green businesses, and enjoy kids’ activities and live performances.

Car Free NYC

On the second annual Car Free NYC on Earth Day, April 22nd from 10 AM – 4 PM join Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez and the NYCDOT as they close down Broadway to cars from Times Square to Union Square. In Union Square’s pedestrian plaza, enjoy free fitness with Paragon Sports and more.

Union Square Historical Walking Tour: Earth Day Edition

Learn how Mayor John Lindsay created Continue reading

New in 2017 (Plus, the Best of 2016 You Can Still Catch) in Union Square

2017 Brings New Restaurants, Theater, Free Events

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As you gear up to tackle 2017, we’re already anticipating an incredible year in the Square. Here are the top developments we’re excited for this year, plus the best of 2016 you can still enjoy.

1. Union Square Sweat Fest | Don’t give up on those New Year’s resolutions! SWEAT in Union Square with our third annual celebration of Union Square’s health and wellness scene. We’ll keep you committed with silent disco yoga at the W New York – Union Square, an exclusive workout in GrowNYC’s new Project Farmhouse, and free class trials at some of the best gyms in the neighborhood.

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2. Union Square Cafe Returns Home | The best part about Union Square Cafe’s new larger space? Each visit reveals something different you love about the restaurant. Whether it’s the artwork, the private nooks, or a seat at one of the bars, you can experience the incredible food and drink that earned the restaurant the highest accolades over the years.

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Photo: Emily Andrews, Thrillist

3. Exceptional Off-Broadway Theatre | In February, The Vineyard Theatre introduces John Kander and Greg Pierce’s Kid Victory directed by Liesl Tommy, a hauntingly mesmerizing new musical about seventeen-year-old Luke returning to his small Kansas town after a wrenching one-year absence. Tickets are now on sale! Across the street, the Daryl Roth Theatre presents Vox Luminere’s Phantom Of The Opera, a unique take on the classic musical.

4. New Tech Center on the Way | This season, NYC’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will soon reveal the team selected to redevelop the city-owned site at 124 East 14th Street into a new tech hub for a modern workforce. The project may include new office and retail space geared towards startups and co-working.

5. Project Farmhouse | The team behind the world-famous Union Square Greenmarket, GrowNYC, just launched Project Farmhouse, an event space and sustainability center that hosts workshops, galas, speakers, community meetings and interactive exhibits. The new space is located on 13th Street, on the ground floor of the Hyatt Union Square.

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The view from the main entrance of Project Farmhouse with a ceiling made of recycled plastic bottles. Source: ProjectFarmhouse.org

6. New Foodie Spots Opening Soon | Prepare for Korean BBQ alongside classic Korean dishes at Barn Joo’s new multiple-story location at 35 Union Square West, set to open this winter. Acclaimed Israeli chef Meir Adoni teams up with Breads Continue reading

Turkey Day: USQ Style

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Pies from new #USQEats Daily Provisions available for pre-order and pick-up Thanksgiving week.

Don’t just stuff yourself this Thanksgiving – fill your schedule with the best Union Square has to offer.

Greenmarket Shopping

Find everything you need for your holiday table at the Greenmarket. Sides? Fresh bread, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, acorn squash, kale, mushrooms, sweet potatoes. (We have a few fall recipes for you to try.) Turkey? Pre-order or purchase Turkeys from Violet Hill Farm, Dipaula, Quattro’s Game Farm, or Tamarack Hollow Farm. Decor? Mini gourds and pumpkins are available for $1, or decorate your home with a River Garden dried wreath or pepper bouquet.

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Note the Union Square Greenmarket’s holiday schedule. Thanksgiving week, stop by the market Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday but there will be no market Friday. The market returns on Saturday.

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Dessert

Treat your guests to the best. At Breads Bakery, pick up up an apple or pecan pie (or, you can never go wrong with babka). At Daily Provisions, Continue reading

Summer Staycation

Playing Tourist in Union Square

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Union Square is bursting with awesomeness just awaiting your discovery – why travel anywhere else? Steps away from our idyllic park is the beating heart of New York City. At the center of food, culture and shopping, we’ve rounded up our top spots to keep you busy, relaxed and deliciously full Continue reading

Preview the Harvest in the Square Menu

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The 20th Anniversary of Harvest in the Square is happening this Thursday, September 17th! We’ve got the full menu from over 50 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants serving up unlimited tastings paired with wines and microbrews from NY State and beyond! Delicious dishes include Blue Water Grill’s Hamachi Crudo, Yuzu, Mint & Continue reading

Today We Remember

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Fourteen years ago today the tragic events of September 11th struck New York City. In the days following the attacks, hundreds came together in Union Square, the closest open public space to Ground Zero. New Yorkers gathered around the clock offering comfort to each other. Today we remember the lives of those that were lost and the bravery of those who served to keep us safe.  Never forget. Continue reading