Lower East Side Revival by Laura Wagner

The LES Revival and Rejuvenation

If not for my association to the world of Real Estate, I’d be clueless of the many neighborhoods on the island of Manhattan. For starters, I often confuse the Lower East Side with the East Village, although based on demographics and trends, the EV gave rise to popularity in the late 80’s when it became a hip ‘hood to visit, and ultimately gained status as a cool place to rent/ purchase. It could be considered the total antithesis to the Upper East Side/ many other established locations. The vibe effuses a punk gothhipster mentality geared to those in their 20s/ 30s; as seen through my lens.

When I was invited to an outdoor gathering last weekend, my initial concern was transportation, and the dilemma to subway or Uber. The subway won over and it turned out an easy commute. Once there, I felt like a martian landing on another planet…a fish out of water surfacing on foreign turf. Throughout these post pandemic times, I’ve made concerted efforts to forge ahead and test my inner strength. Which is what I did while seguing through the Avenues – A, B and finally to my destination at 2nd St and Ave. C. Without the need to elaborate on the conditions of the city streets currently, it is wise to know where you’re going, with as little time as possible spent checking your IPhone for direction!

A revival of sorts as the hospitality of the hosts, the energy of the guests, and the warmth/ heat of the outdoor garden, made this sweltering climate induced night, pleasant and memorable. The railway flat connected to the garden, was a flashback to another time and place, with overhead fans and narrow passages leading to the host’s studio. His large canvases cover the walls and floors…many clearly inspired by Keith Haring.

Leaving Ave. C at 1am, made me realize that only on the busy streets of the LES could a person feel ‘somewhat’ secured between the crowds. The juxtaposition of old and new, tenements and modern construction make a visit to this special section of lower Manhattan, a reason to return.

Suggestion; wait for the weather to cool before planning the excursion.

LINK TO: Spatialism, 287 East Houston, New York

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