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Gem Spa

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Long-standing East Village candy store associated with egg creams and counter culture figures

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : East Village
Commercial, Great Places to Shop, Shopping

Place Matters Profile

"Everyone, it seems, is somewhere else. / None are lost, tho. At least, we aren’t. . . / I’m right here / sunlight opening up the sidewalk. . . ." So wrote Beat poet Ted Berrigan in Many Happy Returns, a poem published in a volume of the same title in 1969, specifically referencing Gem’s Spa. Fifty years later, this beloved East Village candy store, famous for its classic New York City egg creams, is still right here, on the corner of St. Marks and Second Avenue, at least for the moment. In the fall of 2018, after more than thirty years in business, long-standing Gem Spa owner Ray Patel developed severe Parkinsons Disease and stepped down from behind the counter he loved so dearly. His daughter, Parul, took over the helm only to discover that the ship was in danger of sinking. The elder Patel had worked tirelessly...

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