We Are Staying: Eighty Years in the Life of a Family, a Store, and a Neighborhood was written by native Upper West Sider Jen Rubin. Her grandfather, Leon, was the founder of Radio Clinic, which was located on the corner of 98th and Broadway. Her father, Alan, later took over the store. Radio Clinic was in business for 80 years, until it closed in 2014.
In her writings, Jen recounts the struggles of the 1977 blackout, when the store was hit by looters. Alan Rubin was operating the store at the time, and wasn’t about to fold. He simply posted a sign in the store window which read “WE ARE STAYING”.
She writes about Alan’s family pride, and his motivation to uphold his father’s legacy.
“My dad was under no illusions about the neighborhood. He didn’t keep Radio Clinic open to avoid adding another vacant storefront to the block or with the lofty intention of anchoring the neighborhood. It was far simpler than that. Thirty-three years earlier his dad, who had run for his life from Russia, put his stake down on this block and slowly built up the business. This was his family’s business, and my dad wasn’t budging.”
But sadly, when their rent was hiked in 2014, staying open was no longer a possibility.
On Monday, October 15th at 6:30pm, Jen Rubin will share her memories of the old Upper West Side with current Upper West Sider and New York Times journalist Amy Harmon.
In addition, there will be accompanying photographs presented by UWS photographer Stephen Harmon.