If you strolled around Greenwich Village last year (or any year before that), you might remember a lively if a bit clunky newsstand at Thompson and West Third. It had stood there for 80 years before being shut down in December by the Department of Consumer Affairs for blocking the sidewalk and fire escape directly above.
Now, the Villager reports, the residents of the adjacent buildings are complaining that a fragile urban eco-balance has been lost and the block has been invaded by all sorts of evil doers. Supposedly, the newsstand's presence had been holding trespassers, graffiti boys, burglars, stoop and rooftop drinkers, and a whole lot of other unwelcome characters at bay. After the closure, their unrestrained activity has led to mushrooming problems on the block.
At least that's the story related to the Villager by residents like Andrew Gold. Now, they want their newsstand back, especially since the fire hasard cited as the official reason for closing the newsstand is being disputed. Petition signatures are apparently being collected.