Believe it or not, The Standard’s new lobby isn’t the biggest news out of Cooper Square. Across the street, the venerable Village Voice has quietly slipped out of 36 Cooper, where it’s been headquartered since 1991, and has set up shop in, yes, the Financial District.
“It is, as someone once said, a clean and well-lighted space,” said the alt weekly’s new editor in chief, Tom Finkel, of the twenty-first-floor offices at 80 Maiden Lane. Finkel’s first day on the job, a couple of weeks ago, happened to be the paper’s first day in its new home, but he managed to sneak a glimpse or two of the former address before the big move.
“The old one was a cavern and a labyrinth, and the few times I was there I always got lost,” he recounted. “Here, we can all shout together if we want at the same time in the same room.”
Okay, but is it really the Village Voice if it’s not in the Village? “It’s not a neighborhood paper, it’s a New York paper,” Finkel argued – though he did concede initial uncertainty over how the Financial District might feel once they tried it on for size. “I think that’s what everybody thought was the wild card, but new neighborhoods are good for you,” he said. “There is a little bit of a reclaiming-of-the-neighborhood spirit down here after the hurricane and everything that’s gone on.”
Finkel comes fresh off a decade-long run as editor in chief at the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Missouri, which is owned by the same parent company as The Voice. Though it meant relocating his family, he said he couldn’t turn up the chance to move to New York, where his parents grew up. “I was absolutely captivated with the opportunity to come here and edit the paper,” he said. “It’s an exciting town and a great staff. I couldn’t be happier.”
And so the era of the Wall Street Voice has begun.