simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: The Funny Store
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Tuesday, 24 July 2007

The Funny Store

This is a story recently reported by the New York Times, the Daily News and other local media. The Funny Store, a novelty shop which has been in business in the Times Square area for 50 years, is closing July 31 with a new residential development of luxury condominiums going up in its place. The shop was originally opened by brothers Irving, Mike and Lou Tannen (of Tannen's Magic fame). The current owner, Arnold Martin, has had the store since 2004. It has been frequented by many celebrities and has been a favorite of the Letterman show. The Funny Store sells gags, jokes, magic tricks, games and novelties with all the classics like hand buzzers, rubber chickens, whoopee cushions and their most popular item - fake dog excrement. Why, you may ask, is the story of a tiny novelty shop important? After all, this is not an essential service and these products can be had online. It's not the closing of this particular store but that this appears to be a typical scenario of the day and a harbinger of times to come. The changing landscape of NYC is one that many fear with a future of chain stores and luxury residences and services catering to the well-heeled. The small independent store is becoming an endangered species, along with many niche business operations. Entire districts have disappeared and industries have left the city. What makes NYC the interesting place it is and gives it character are the unique retailers, businesses, restaurants, cultural attractions and the people that make them up - the things you don't find outside the city. Catch them while you can ...


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