Stop Calling the East Village ‘Midtown South’

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 at 10:15 am by

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Photo: WallyG

There are many who believe that the SPURA Essex Crossing development will be the death of Lower East Side. Not entirely true. What about the real estate industry rebranding (nay, redefining) our borders as an extension of midtown? Yes, it’s very real, and it’s happening for sure.

If a recent overheard conversation is any indication, that “Midtown South” broker-babble – popularized in listings for 51 Astor Place – is already gaining some unwanted traction amongst the masses. Some Murray Hill folks hanging out at The Edge (the f*cking irony) told their friends on the receiving end of the iPhone: “come to Midtown South. Yeah. East 3rd Street. I’ll meet you outside.” Fingernails on chalkboard

But is “Midtown South” and the wave of real estate speculation really a death knell?

Clearly you can’t turn back demolition. 150-200-year-old buildings are now bones beneath the streets. A fine balance once existed between preservation and progress. In the last few years, progress has KO’d preservation with money as the right hook.

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Rubble of 185-191 Bowery, August 2012

SPURA was a 47 year scam, the bargain district is gone, Essex Crossing makes me nauseous…

What the hell are we fighting for? You can think about it, but the answer is clear.

We are fighting for home. This is NOT Midtown South.

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This is the Lower East Side, after all. As the Gateway to America, it represents our collective heritage, ancestry, our tenements, and is therefore one of the most historic neighborhoods in all of New York City’s five boroughs.

Just once before I die
I want to climb up on a
tenement sky
to dream my lungs out till
I cry
then scatter my ashes thru
the Lower East Side.
So let me sing my song tonight
let me feel out of sight
and let all eyes be dry
when they scatter my ashes thru
the Lower East Side.
From Houston to 14th Street
from Second Avenue to the mighty D
here the hustlers & suckers meet
the ****s & freaks will all get
high on the ashes that have been scattered
thru the Lower East Side.

Miguel Piñero

To the mighty…

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