Rapid change seems to be factor in any highly populated area. New York City’s tiny barrios, sections, and areas seem to especially prone to it. For every stalwart surviving building or business, there are dozens of shiny new additions. I don’t travel to the Lower East Side (located south of Houston Street, north of Canal Street and East of Broadway) often, but when I do, I am struck by its rate of change.
Every building is a potential canvas, every storefront a quick-change artist. Old, grey housing blocks await demolition and already-planned replacements warm up in the wings.
Here are a few photos that I took on Open House New York Weekend (October 14-15) of the Essex Street Market and nearby streets. There has been a market at 120 Essex Street for more than 100 years, but this too will change next year. The market will move from its basic but cheery building to a new “mixed use” development around the corner. I can only hope that it doesn’t lose its charm in the process.
Old fashioned candy store exterior
Old fashioned candy store interior
Layer upon layer of posts recent and antique
The Essex Market
The brightly painted market entrance
Market entrance detail with temporary installation by artist AI Weiwei
A walk around New York’s Lower East Side and East Village never disappoints. Surprises abound. Perhaps the most surprising for me during a recent walk there is that in the midst of constant change, gentrification and “progress”, there are some locals clearly on a quest to remain the same. Old New York lives on through their businesses–this is no easy task in our city.
In addition the places shown below, my quest took me to a Polish butcher shop, two antiques stores and past an old Dairy Restaurant, so named for it’s adherence to Kosher provisions regarding serving dairy and meat products in the same area.