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Tiny rare books shop Left Bank Books is leaving W. Fourth Street, ousted by a new landlord who doesn't seem to appreciate the neighborhood's history. The landlord, who inherited the building, has already forced out a tiny laundromat and, per the Villager, "made trouble for a former cross-dressing show boy, now in his late 80s, whose taste is kitschy — fake flowers in flower boxes — but does favors for tenants in the building who are out all day." What kind of mustache-twirling villain picks a fight with a kindly 80-something kitsch-loving transvestite? The same kind, according to Left Bank fans, who would push out a bookstore and a Chinese laundry in order to make a bigger retail space out of the two storefronts.
As for Left Bank's owner, he's surprisingly gracious about the situation, telling the Villager he has no animosity towards the nearby Marc Jacobs boutiques that have caused such major rent hikes in the neighborhood. In fact, he'd gladly accept a buyout: "If he wanted to change the name to Left Bank Books by Marc Jacobs, I'd go with it." MJ, are you listening?
· Rare-books shop's owner is hoping it's not final chapter [The Villager]