Photos 24 Jul 2011 06:50 am
- The artists are always there first. In NYC, they settled in the 60s in Soho, just south of Greenwich Village where lots of warehouses & factories stood. Lots of galleries built around them, and the rents suddenly went high. The artists moved to Williamsburg in Brooklyn (just across the East River), a Polish neighborhood where the rents were low. Galleries and boutiques moved in, and the artists had to move out again. They went further into Brooklyn.
At 6am the other day, I was walking across Prince Street in Soho. It’s been years since the artists had fled, yet I realized a lot was still changing. Even bigger money was moving in, and the beauty and charm of the neighborhood was moving out. I took some photos and am about to give you a little tour.
This is Prince Street which goes across Manhattan Island from East to West.
In this photo I’m looking West because that’s the direction I’m walking.
You’ll notice it’s not really cobblestone but bricks laid to make up the street.
Street sellers line West Broadway selling their wares.
They have to fight the City even after they get their licenses.
(This was an all-out war under Giuliani – cops vs vendors.)
At 6am this is the first vendor to set up, just off Prince Street.
On of my favorite stores on Sullivan Street is Something Special.
It’s a candy store with a lot of rental Postal boxes. The pictures
of Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker & their kids indicate
that the couple uses one of the boxes in this store. Their mail drop.
I get things notarized here from an older Italian gentleman.
The Koho School of Sumi-E is going out of business on the corner
of Sullivan Street and Houston. This shop always reminds me of
the late Francis Lee, who studie Sumi-E painting.
He was a real Independent back in the day.
I often rented his Oxberry to shoot films overnight.
I wonder if the demise of this shop will mean that I won’t think so often of Francis.
You can see that the nature of the neighborhood is changing. Brick-laid cobblestone is about to go completely. Old shops are being forced out of business, and money is moving in with higher prices and no concern for the little guy or the neighborhood. There are no artists here anymore, just vendors who pay high rents.