In a NYC guidebook handed out to everyone at my college during freshmen orientation, my neighborhood was listed as….A Shanty Town. People who pass through it with me often believe I live in the Projects. Okay, BOTH of those descriptions are wrong, I don’t live in government housing!!! So maybe it’s not the most bustling neighborhood after 5pm, but we have tons of bars, restaurants, and beautiful sights….juxtaposed with sights like the above photo, which is some unused land across the street from my apartment. There’s been tons of construction for the past 10 years, and sadly I think this has chased out a lot of the old businesses. That in addition to 9/11 obliterating them LITERALLY. And the MTA kicking out the remainders because they wanted to build a mega-mall-transit station on Fulton Street.
Sometimes I do find chihuahua sized rats congregating in the cobblestone alleyways here, hanging out, chatting, running through the big piles of garbage bags. But the neighborhood has gentrified a lot in the past 6 months – all these chain restaurants have moved in. As a born and bred New Yorker for 25 years, I’m torn about this. It’s nice that the streets are safer (despite me still getting grabbed on Fulton before) and there’s more after-5pm-commerce here….but there’s something soul-less about suburban chains being in one of the oldest parts of New York City. One of the oldest places of the United States of America…
Instead of that sentimental stuff, let’s focus on some photos I happened to snap today while jogging down the East River, around the southern tip of Manhattan and over to the Hudson. It’s been over 6 months since the last time I ran, and this is one of my favorite routes. Everything is old and everything is beautiful. But once again I do miss how everything past the Staten Island Ferry was all grassy fields, with trees and enough space for dozens of people to fly kites in the summer. That’s the childhood I grew up with, and I know people who look at NYC now will not be able to fathom such a place existed in the densest city of America. But it did, and I miss it….
That’s it for today! Took all these on my iPhone for the Phoneography Challenge. I might do another tomorrow since this was pretty fun.