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Discover NYC – Your Guide to Indie Businesses

Discover the local, independent businesses that are the heart and soul of NYC in Shoot New York City’s guide to the best of indie New York!

Discover the real NYC in Shoot New York City’s Discover Guide

I love the independent businesses in New York, they are the heart and soul of the city! In this section you will find bookstores, cafés, restaurants, arts & crafts markets and more. This is an ongoing project to list the best of indie New York so visit often to discover the real New York City. Experience the hidden gems and places that New Yorkers frequent. For more information on many of NYC’s vibrant neighborhoods, have a read of my Neighborhood Guides. I am not compensated for writing these reviews and I'm only writing about the places that I like.

Sadly, far too many of these unique, independent businesses close every year. When I learn of one closing I will move it to the category Vanishing NYC. They may be gone but they’ll never be forgotten!


Strand Books, Greenwich Village, Manhattan

So Strand Books has been around since 1927! Their original location was just around the corner on Fourth Avenue which was once called book row with 6 blocks of bookstores. In 1957 they moved to their current location. They boast of having 18 miles of books. But I heard that it's actually 21 miles of books! It is the largest bookstore that I shop in! 

I like to buy used books at Strand. Especially art and photography books. They have lots of cool merchandise as well. I do love their campaign slogan "Make America Read Again!" Patti Smith worked there many years ago. I started going to the Strand in 1979. The Strand is named after the street in London that was popular with avant-garde writers.

What they say about their store. "Today, the Strand carries over 2.5 million used, new, and rare books, covering topics as far-ranging as occult to philosophy to finance. . . Our employees are not only knowledgeable about books but they’re also passionate about them. Not only can they help you find a book, they can also recommend something you might love if you give them a quick description of your literary tastes."

Strand Books, 828 Broadway