For reasons I do not understand, the intersection of 86th Street and Lexington has managed to fend off the plague of crappy, modern, anonymous Cemusa newsstands that have swept the city in the last three years, thanks to Bloomberg signing a contract with an urban architecture firm—in Spain.
There are three newsstands at this crossroads, and each of them is gloriously old school. Messy, real, gritty and very New York. The rest of the intersection is awful—modern apartment and office towers and chain stores (Game Stop, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, H & M) everywhere. (There used to be a wonderful little donut shop on the southeast corner which I still mourn.) But the newsstands almost save it.