11. The Strand has two outdoor kiosks in Manhattan
The Central Park kiosk
While it no longer has an annex, the Strand does have a shop at Club Monaco, as well as a Central Park kiosk at 60th street and 5th Avenue, and a Times Square kiosk at 43rd street between Broadway and 7th avenue. The Central Park kiosk is open Monday-Saturday from 10am-dusk and Sundays from 11am-dusk, while the Times Square kiosk is open from 10am-10pm, weather permitting for both.
As we covered in 2013, the process behind the Strand’s Central Park kiosk and this type of city concession is little-known. According to the bookstore’s general manager Eddie Sutton, over the years, the Strand has “had the contract and we’ve not had the contract.” In 2012, it was reported that the city had put out an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the kiosk because the Strand’s 5 year lease was ending on May 1, 2013.
The RFP revealed some fun pieces of information, including:
- This kiosk is dedicated specifically to book selling, with a requirement that those bidding for the lease should have a “solid background in the book business”
- All items and prices are subject to the park’s approval, and non-book items like souvenirs must be associated with books.
- The leasees, not the city, are responsible for the maintenance of the stand, utilities, even the pavement and sidewalks.
- Proposals had to be submitted on paper with no less than 30% post-consumer material content
On a fun note, NYC Parks says the kiosks were created to mimic the book stalls on Paris’ Left Bank.