Situated on Ninth Avenue in the mid-40s, in the middle of development-happy Hell's Kitchen (or Clinton, if you insist), there's no reason the tiny Poseidon Bakery should still exist. But it does, stubbornly enough, churning out various Greek, Arabic and other delicacies on a daily basis.
How is this so? Well, I asked, and the answer is hit my ear like a primer on how to survive in New York in these land-hungry days. One: keep the family interested. The Poseidon is 87 years old (though the awning say 75 and the calling card reads 85) and has been through four generations of the same clan. Two: think beyond the storefront. Poseidon doesn't just sell to the neighborhood, but ships all over the world. Three: be your own landlord. They own the building and live above the bakery. No one can push them out.
Hearing this last bit of good news, I finally decided to do something I've been thinking about for weeks. I'm going to add a feature to the blog, listing the landmark restaurants, bars and shops that own their buildings, and are thus relatively safe from real estate speculators and reckless landlords. I will also list those poor businesses that don't own their buildings and are at the mercy of greedy rent-collectors. I will add items to the list as I learn the status of various icons.