There is usually classical music playing on the radio. Arty stands patiently behind his counter at the back of the store, his hands resting on the top of the counter like a dealer at a blackjack table that is momentarily devoid of players. Old cameras in glass cases. Old super Eight movie cameras. And new cameras, too. A photographer’s paradise. Not the high tech bustle of B&H. This store has the vibe of the amateur, the hobbyist, the photography lover.
The other day a sign appeared in the window. “Time To Go.”
All items on sale, 20-50 percent off.
The place looked a little empty, less stock.
“Business is off by fifty percent,” said Arty. “It’s happening all over the city.”
“The digital cameras have taken a lot of business away. it’s a film driven business,” he said. He shrugged. Thirty years at this location. The prospect of closing up did not seem to trouble him too much.
“It happened ten years ago,” he said. “The last recession, the landlord lowered the rent, we made a deal, and I’m still here. But this is a new owner,” he shrugged again. “Basically I’m playing chicken with the landlord.”
He said he expected to be out of here by the end of September.
I told him I’d tell my friends about his sale. He said the whole store was for sale, too. So you can buy a camera or a camera store. It’s a nice place to visit.
45 Christopher is just off Sheridan Square. (212) 929-8894