For eighty years, a store named Radio Clinic* stood on the 98th Street block of Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. My immigrant grandfather opened it in 1934 during the depths of the Depression as a radio repair shop. To distinguish his shop from his many nearby competitors in those early days of radio, he sat fixing radios in the storefront window – visible to the public in his “clinic” -- wearing a white doctor’s lab coat. The business grew over the decades to sell radios, televisions, appliances big and small, electronics, and air conditioners, lots and lots of air conditioners.
I am completing a book, We Are Staying: Chronicle of a Family Business on Manhattan's Upper West Side, about the rise and fall of this 80-year family business. It is a small business story and a story about a shop owner that keeps on going despite the odds. It is an immigrant story, a father-daughter story and a story about the impact a single small business can have on a neighborhood and what a neighborhood loses when that business goes under.
My New York Times Op Ed about Radio Clinic.
This excerpt published by the West Side Rag described Radio Clinic’s looting during the 1977 Blackout.
PBS American Experience featured Radio Clinic in its documentary about the Blackout.
*name changed to RCI in 1980
I am a writer and storyteller, completing the book, We Are Staying: Chronicle of a Family Business on Manhattan's Upper West Side.