"Forever" writer Pete Hamill selected The Strand as his favorite bookstore. "On days of rain or snow, I could vanish into its shelves and tables, examining its endless literary treasures," he wrote of his time living near the store in the 1950s. He was sad to hear the news that it had (temporarily, it turned out) closed its doors. "One thing that had vanished with the Strand and its neighbors was serendipity – that extraordinary sense of surprise and delight when you enter a bookstore in search of one book and discover another." When the Strand reopened in its new location, Hamill went often and recalled meeting Damon Runyan, Martha Gellhorn, H.L. Mencken, and others there.