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Gem Spa has become “Schitibank” ahead of cash mob Saturday

Gem Spa Schitibank
photo via @123dortiz

Iconic East Village bodega Gem Spa, which has been struggling to keep its doors open, has gotten a (temporary) makeover ahead of a “cash mob” on Saturday aimed at driving business to the store. As Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York writes, he got Tommy Noonan and Doug Cameron of design firm DCX Accelerator on board to create an art installation playing on the rumor that CitiBank is looking to take over the space (for their part, Citi denied the rumor on twitter). A satire of blatant marketing schemes like Target East Village’s CBGB “recreation,” the “Schitibank” design installation plays off art and activism, and features Jean-Michel Basquiat, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, The New York Dolls, and Robert Mapplethorpe, among others. Take a look in the Instagrams below.

You can also experience “Schitibank” for yourself in person for a limited time (and help keep Gem Spa open) during a “cash mob” being held on Saturday September 14 from 12 PM-2 PM. From the Facebook event:

#SaveNYC is hosting a Cash Mob at Gem Spa to help support this beloved East Village business–and keep it alive. Come prepared to spend some money—egg creams, pretzels, t-shirts, toothpaste!–and take your photo with a surprise work of guerrilla street art, as an acclaimed group of cultural activists and designers radically transform Gem Spa into a dystopian vision for the new St. Mark’s Place.

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gem spa popping off today

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Gem Spa has been transformed "into a vivid dystopian vision of the new St. Mark's Place. It is now Schitibank, a play on the rumor that Citibank wants to move into the corner space that has been Gem since 1957." – Jeremiah Moss, 9/11/19, #JVNY • Come check it out and spend some cash this Saturday at the #GemSpa Cash Mob & Art Event this Saturday, 9/14/19 from noon-2pm. • ART INSTALLATION by Tommy Noonan and Doug Cameron from design firm #DCXAccelerator • PHOTO by Jeremiah Moss • #cashmob #supportsmallbusiness #sbjsa #smallbusinessjobssurvivalact #shopmomandpop #culturallandmark #gentrification #stopgentrification #gentrificationisnotprogress #savegemspa #savestmarksplace #savetheeastvillage #artactivism #actioncity #besteggcreaminnyc

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#schitibank #gemspa #eastvillage #morningwalktowork

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#schitibank #gemspa #eastvillage @besteggcream

A post shared by Jeremiah Moss (@mossvanishingnewyork) on

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