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Story and photos by Kaitlin Carney
Main Street, Narrowsburg – already known for its bustling shops and restaurants – has welcomed a new business.
One Grand, a curated bookshop, officially opened to the public two weeks ago.
The concept was initially a pop-up shop in NYC, where individuals from writers to musicians to actresses were asked for their ten desert island must-have reads.
One Grand, located at 60 Main Street, gives those lists and other titles a home. Owner Aaron Hicklin fell in love with the space that would become One Grand, with its breathtaking views of the Delaware River’s ‘Big Eddy’ and prime Main Street location, and knew it was the home for his dream.
The editor-in-chief of Out Magazine turned the dream into retail reality. Using a local architect and tradesmen, the former toy store was transformed.
Workers restored the pressed tin walls and ceiling, custom shelving inspired by siding in Narrowsburg went from vision to fabrication, flooring was leveled, and the entire interior was touched with a delicate gray and white palette.
From the entrance, visitors have a direct sightline to the Big Eddy, with One Grand’s curated collection on either side of the store.
“Narrowsburg spoke to me as soon as I arrived. Beyond the space, here there is a particularly forward-thinking community of artists, writers, farmers… people here for decades and people that are newer to town are all connected,” Hicklin said.
“People respond to the power of words and the power of books, and I plan on learning a lot from this community and being very responsive,” he added.
One Grand’s opening was full of curious people including local artists, writers, photographers, residents, and friends.
All perused the must-have reads on the lists of Tilda Swinton, the late Vera B. Williams of Narrowsburg, Mary-Louise Parker, and Michael Stipe to name a few.
Hicklin explained that Lena Dunham and Gloria Steinem would shortly have their choices on the shelves.
“These are all people I admire, people that I know. I hope to also invite customers to help curate a shelf for the month, to offer shelves of local interest like fishing, the river, and local writers,” he said.
“Books enrich our lives, and I want to reinforce the community One Grand is in. With the book shop, I am on a big adventure!”
Hicklin indicated that he wasn’t necessarily surprised by any of the selections, but did reflect that the choices tell you a lot about the person.
“Michael Stipe’s list is very cyber punk, with subversive fiction. Tilda Swinton‘s list features Scottish and anarchic British titles. I was surprised, heartened, and very happy at how many people chose poetry. I don’t read a lot of poetry, and now I have many recommendations,” Hicklin said.
After the opening, One Grand was feted at The Heron Restaurant where visitors and friends celebrated the venture.
The One Grand bookshop is open on Fridays with wine and cheese in the evening, Saturdays and Sundays through the winter and spring.
For more information and store hours, and a glimpse at some of the lists available, check out www.onegrandbooks.com.