Over the summer, I worked at International Center of Photography at the Point as an assistant teacher.
One of my students, Charles, came to class one day and told us about a Newsstand Man he had photographed. He interviewed him about his life and well-being. The following story is Jerry’s (the Newsstand Man) story told to Charles:
Jerry Delakas is an honest, hardworking man who has been running the Astor Place Newsstand for the last 24 years, and is now facing eviction. Jerry has very much become a fixture of the neighborhood. He is a friendly and familiar face to residents, tourists, and schoolchildren. What Jerry enjoys most is watching the the world go by as he lovingly attends to his post.
A native of Cephallonia, Greece, Jerry’s work as a merchant seaman brought him to the US in the 70s. He attained his “American Dream” by being his own boss running the newsstand. In over 20 years of work, he’s been witness to the striking transformation of the city and of his neighborhood in particular.
But, Jerry’s days are numbered….
The city is attempting to evict him from his stand because he doesn’t have the required license. The previous owner of the license had allowed Jerry to run the stand and left it to him in her Will. Now, the City of New York stipulates that their arrangement is invalid, and refuses to grant Jerry the license to be proprietor of his own stand.
At 64 years old Jerry is in a precarious position. He is now relying on the support of the community: friends, neighbors, concerned citizens of the world and activists alike.
We can save Jerry with the support of people like you!
To view pictures of Jerry visit Charles flicker here.