Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bleeker Street

There aren't any more laundromats, ice cream parlors, fresh produce stands, Levi's, affordable clothing, great bread bakeries, or restaurants. They're gone the way of the horse and buggy. But you always can find the latest in fashion, if you are willing to fork over half of your inheritance for some junk designer clothing you won't wear through next season.

A walk down the street shows more than a few empty stores, meaning the shops agreed to pay a higher rent to greedy pig landlords than the business would support.

The essentials like food, have been absorbed by a few large chain stores, higher prices, fewer choices, and driving residents away.

The essential character of what was once Greenwich Village: the colorful mix of people, counterculture, familiar faces on the street, smells of food, being part of a community, has been wiped away by the avalanche of developers who suck up property and turn it into high rent of high priced residences, totally inaccessible to the people who used to live here.

Once you could speak to anyone on the street, knowing they'd respond with a conversation about whatever the latest is happening in government, politics, international insanity, or the arts. It was a normal part of ourlives back then. Try it now, and you get a blank, frightened stare from someone who just spent several millions redoing a house, hiring a nanny, and cutting themselves off from the very reason they came here in the first place.

What is missing here is the fertile environment that made us what we are, made us think, be aware, grow, and care enough to do something about things.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

As the Village slowly dies...

I have lived here only a few years, but in that time I've seen changes, changes for an awful result. The streets, once rich with people, and the smell of cooking, etc, are now filled with newly renovated antique houses, and nannys pushing prams. Once a place of counterculture, art and innovation, has become a vapid, dead, dry agglomeration of property owners who do not interact. A confused, disparate, pretty to look at mess.

I'll be telling you more. Stay tuned