Thursday, September 29, 2011
Last Day at Metropolis Books
Exterior of the Canadian Building as it is today. Julie Swayze, owner & proprietor of Metropolis Books can be seen standing outside her storefront.
It's with a bit of Melancholy that I share the news that today is the last day of Metropolis Books operating in the brick and mortar location on Main Street. Owner Julie Swayze was busy packing away the last several boxes of books, loading them into a U-Haul (and later a van) as she was emptying her store out.
What book inventory that remained was being dispersed to various non-profits including a retirement home, a women's shelter and a couple public libraries, (to include the Pasadena Public Library). Julie says she hopes to wrap up today so it's finished. No lingering last quiet hours to contemplate this part of the journey of her life. She's a very busy women.
While chatting with her, one of the recipients of her donations had arrived to pick up their allotment of books. Within minutes, Downtown dweller and small business advocate Brady Westwater arrived with a cart. He was there to pick up one of the store's bookcases he purchased during the "everything must go" portion of the store's sale.. During the last couple weeks, pretty much anyone had a chance to purchase the store furniture, fixtures, framed art and poster prints straight off the walls. Now Metropolis Books will be not just a happy memory of place and time for many Historic Core neighbors but a a physical part of our home. (Yes, I too managed to pick up a small bookcase from Julie).
What's next? Julie will still have the online portion of Metropolis Books, but she will now be freed up to keep her main focus tending to an ailing family member, which will require much more of the attention, love and support that she gave to our neighborhood. Julie provided a place of community, a support for local artists and writers; A place where neighbors could get one on one customer service, a bent ear of commiseration or share a laugh.
Julie may have spent five years on Main Street, but she's earned a permanent place in the heart and history of Downtown LA.
disclaimer: If you think this is too sappy, come back and read this again in a couple weeks when the bookstore's closure has finally hit you. =) Hugs and best wishes to Steve and Julie and to Julie's family on the new part of the journey.