New York is the city of a million newsstands, but Gem Spa is perhaps the most famous. Opened in the 1920s and operating under its current name since 1957, the shop has been an historic gathering place for each wave of East Village denizens—from the Beats to hippies to the punks of yesteryear. (A photo of the shop adorns the back cover of the New York Dolls' first album; "Gem Spa” is the name of a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting.) Although it deserves recognition for its wide selection of newspapers and magazines, the shop is considered a New York City institution thanks to its egg creams. Owner Ray Patel uses a special recipe handed down from previous owners that dates back to the shop's earliest days.
Food & Grocery Stores/Greenmarkets