Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Not only is American Apparel hurtling towards financial destruction, but the company just removed five of the nine benches from outside its Orchard Street store. Back in the heady days of 2007, a New York Observer article proclaimed one of the benches "the epicenter of perhaps the hottest 'anti-scene' scene on Saturday nights" after a bunch of DJs released a fake press release treating it as a hot new nightspot. (The bench even had—has!—its own MySpace page, although it looks like nobody's left their mark there since 2008.)
So is this another sign of AA's impending meltdown? According to Bowery Boogie, it might not be. A sales associate told the blog that the store removed the benches as a safety precaution because they "didn't want people living outside the store anymore." They did, however, preserve the bench belonging to Nathan, the neighborhood character with the cup around his neck who's been treating it as his home base for years now.
· American Apparel on East Houston Removes Benches [Bowery Boogie]
· The Bench Bunch [NYO]
· The Bench NYC [MySpace]