It's widely (and offensively) known by New Yorkers that New Jersey is America's armpit. But for passersby and residents of Manhattan's East Village, a menacing stench exists of exceptional quality.
Gourmet, artisanal cheeses sit rotting in glass display cases and invade the senses of anyone who passes by the now-defunct East Village Cheese shop. One person has it particularly bad.
Julia Knox, hat shop owner of East Village Hats, is a neighbor of this malignant cheese shop. The rotting cheese odor had started to waft over the walls of the shop, getting worse and worse every day. Residential apartments sit just above the shop, causing neighbors to worry.
East Village Cheese, located at 80 East Seventh Street, was formerly run by Tibetan monks. The shop was last seen open on Dec. 7 and now sits empty, filled with ruminating cheese, leaving queasy neighbors in its wake.
Knox had reported this issue to her city council members and called 311 but to no avail. She worries the cloth hats, which are all handmade, will absorb the smell and the situation could have a long-term effect on her business.
The shop has been gated and locked since the store's power was cut off; however, due to legal concerns with entering the premises, the landlord has not taken action. Inside, cheese and assorted baked goods sit untouched and molding. A pot of coffee can be seen left behind on a burner.
East Village Cheese moved from Third Avenue back in September 2015, according to Daily Mail, but struggled after the move. The shop was cash-only and closed early, preventing patrons from dropping in after work hours.
A WPIX reporter interviewed Conrad Bradford, the broker who helped set up the location for the owners. He said he was surprised by the close, but noted that they did not have the right approach. "They started taking cash only and that was the kiss of death," Bradford said.
A reporter from WABC attempted to reach out to the cheese store owners for comment, but the store's phone line has been disconnected. The Local East Village from 2011 shows Lobsang Tsultrim and Thupten Tenphel as owners of the store.