As Ludlow goes

As Ludlow Street goes, so goes New York City. And it’s going. Many of the iconic little shops on this historic Lower East Side street that served as footholds in a new land for waves of immigrants have already given way to fancy new hotels and upscale food and fashion. Is that good? Is that bad? These are the questions one asks while capturing photos of what will surely some day soon be gone.

Don’t believe me? Read Vanishing New York*, a stunning (and, trigger warning, very depressing) book about what used to be and is no more (and why — for instance, something like 140 neighborhoods throughout New York City were rezoned to exclude light manufacturing, which eliminated scores of family-run businesses).

Times change, I guess. People come and go. Cities live and breathe and get too big for their britches and fall and rise again. Yet something valuable is lost in the translation.

* And while you’re purchasing that one, consider getting Traveling at the Speed of Bike as well. Your support enables me to keep covering stories like this.

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