Neighborhood: East Village
Address: 828 Broadway
Website: strandbooks.com

It’s safe to say that The Strand is a one-of-a-kind bookstore. Established in 1927 by Benjamin Bass on Fourth Avenue as part of “bookstore row,” it moved to its current location in the ‘50s as the sole survivor. With its three stories containing “18 miles” of books—possibly not including the dollar racks outside—The Strand is a very lively relic from the increasingly distant past, containing both claustrophobia-inducing racks reaching to the ceiling on the main floor and airy reading spaces in the art and photo sections on the second. The rare book room plays host to talks from prominent authors and artists, ranging from Raymond Pettibon to David Sedaris, as well as housing inscribed works as well as first editions. As book shopping becomes an evermore sterile experience, The Strand stands as a reminder that it doesn’t have to be that way.— Russ Bengtson