Greenwich Village newsstand back in business

Lucy Yang reports from Lower Manhattan
January 14, 2014 2:46:55 PM PST
Sometimes, the little guy can survive the ugly side of bureaucracy. Just ask Jerry Delakas.

"God bless each one of you and God bless America," he said.

For 26 years, he has served the residents along Astor Place with his humble newsstand. He was subletting it, which was illegal. When the owners of the license died, the estate tried to give the license to Jerry. The city said no. When Jerry tried to apply for the license, the city said no again and slapped him with a 37-thousand dollar fine.

Thankfully, that is not the end of this Greek immigrant story. Enter the neighbors who decided to fight for Jerry Delakas.

Kelly King took him to meet Mayor Bill de Blasio at Gracie Mansion. They waited hours in the bitter cold to have one minute to plead their case.

The new mayor took pity. The fine was reduced to 9-thousand and today, the locks were removed.

Jerry told me he'll start selling headlines again on Wednesday after he cleans up his newsstand, but customers weren't about to wait. They started buying lottery tickets and umbrellas.

And then there's the matter of the $9000 fine. Jerry has 9 months to pay that, but customers say they will help him out.