NYC #3- Gentrified LES...

The Lower East Side (LES) was still gritty when I first visited a few years ago, but a lot has changed. There is still the graffiti covered buildings, and iron gates on storefronts, but there is also another side... Seaming with money. Like SOHO twenty years ago, the juxtaposition of money and grit can be quite odd (and lovely).

The Hotel on Rivington (aka THOR) stands out like a hipster would in Sheridan, WY. It is the tallest structure around, and so starkly modern, that many of the buildings nearby can't compete for attention. My understanding is that the hotel was built on a vacant lot, which for me is fine. But... I would hate to see 19th century buildings lost for new ones, just to make money.

I didn't take much time to photograph "teany", Moby's little tea shop down the street from THOR, but I see he has added a "to go" shop next door. I am not sure I agree with the color change from calm green and white, to urgent yellow and red. I get the point... But it could have been done better.

This is the LES most of us are familiar with, at least in pictures. This is still prevalent, but disappearing fast.

What is odd is the boutiques hidden behind the roll-down iron gates (No doubt installed when the nabe was less than safe. The dichotomy of the past and present is truly an experience, which is probably why I love this nabe so much.

A glistening manikin, and a teapot?... Hmmm, not feelin it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

has the term "nabe" replaced the ever-so-street-sounding "hood" to refer to one's area of residence?

i need to know these things


8/02/2005 8:22 AM  
Blogger John said...

Funny. You pretty much replicated one day I spent in the LES on a visit to NYC over the 4th of July weekend. Walked past Teany and the new To Go spot. Craned my neck up at THOR (as tall as it is, the setback helps in reducing the apparent bulk a lot, at least from nearby at street level). And then stopped at Shiller's Liquor Bar for a beer. Oh, and even took a picture of a fire escape, though it was a pink teddy with beads. See for yourself.

8/02/2005 12:19 PM  
Blogger Devyn said...

To Stefan, "Nabe" seems to fit better, as this really is no longer the "hood" (unless you are hanging around Avenue D and 7th St).

To John, Thanks for the comments, funny how creative types instinctively know where to go...
Oh, and I have had your blog bookmarked since last year, great read!

8/02/2005 7:26 PM  
Blogger Corncobber said...

When I used to write a website in the late 90s for the heinous About.com (although, for redemption's sake, about the way-cool Borough of Brooklyn), I always used the term Nabe instead of Hood. Hood always brings to my mind gangs and crime. Nabe always seemed a less loaded term.

8/02/2005 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess i dig the ghetto-fab connotation that "hood" evokes. makes me feel so....street.

represent :)


8/03/2005 8:27 AM  
Anonymous JBL said...

Did you get to Katz's Deli for a sandwich? If not, when you go back to the LES, check it out. Great character and food. Have a nosh! (My husband is from NYC so we've been there often).

8/03/2005 5:44 PM  
Anonymous graphite said...

One of the many, many annoying attributes of New York City is the propensity to have an acronym for every f'ing thing there. At a point it just becomes laughable. Enough already!

8/04/2005 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and on that note...


8/04/2005 5:00 PM  
Anonymous graphite said...

awesome...I love it. Kudos 'anonymous'.

8/05/2005 11:36 AM  

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