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Making It | Shirley and Rebecca Solomon of Pageant Print Shop

For every East Village business that’s opening or closing, dozens are quietly making it. Here’s one of them: Pageant Print Shop.

pageantLauren Carol SmithRebecca Solomon

It’s been nearly two decades since Michael Caine and Barbara Hershey perused the Pageant Book Shop for a copy of E. E. Cummings in “Hannah and her Sisters,” but the store’s history goes back farther than that. In 1946, Sidney B. Solomon and Henry “Chip” Chafetz joined the ranks of Book Row, a stretch of mom-and-pop bookshops along Fourth Avenue from St. Marks Place to 14th Street. One of Mr. Solomon’s two daughters, Shirley, took over after her father died and then moved the store to West Houston Street after a rent hike in the 1990s.

Pageant became an online-only enterprise in 1999, only to reopen at 69 East Fourth Street after Shirley’s sister Rebecca moved back to the city. Nearly seven years later, the siblings are still selling hard-to-find items, though now maps and prints rather than rare books. “Some are old, some are very old, some are very, very old,” said Shirley during a recent conversation with The Local.


How does a shop that sells old maps stay in business?


Shirley: I focus on the unique and affordable. I have things from $1 to $100, to $1,000. There’s an original David Roberts lithograph that is $3,000 framed. We get lots of foot traffic and sell a lot of things in the $1 to $4 range, which adds up. Read more…

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop Wants You to Stop Asking, ‘Are You There Yet?’

Mural at The Big Gay Ice Cream ShopMeghan Keneally A mural at the forthcoming shop.

Last time the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck updated its blog, the East Seventh Street store was due to open in mid-August. Well, it’s mid-August, and there is still no sign of the Choinkwich. What gives? Yesterday, owner Doug Quint explained in a blog post that final electrical upgrades were set to start this week, and “could take up to two weeks- but hopefully less.” In the meantime, he has a request: “Please, I do ask you refrain from tweets and Facebook posts asking when we’re going to open. After two months and thousands of such messages, it’s really just becoming overwhelming.” So relax already, and maybe head up to the Cape this Friday to catch the truck’s pop-up event there.