Back in '92 I was working for a mis-Fortune 500 in a slim glass skyscraper in midtown. I spent a lot of time at the firm's library trying to convince the manager that I was cooler than all the nerdburgers working there. She usually waved me off but one day Miss Lopez said "ok, you wanna take me out - meet me at the Mexican spot on the corner of Stanton and Ludlow." The pre-gentrification lower east side (LES) was another world entirely in those days (click here) but when you're young and horny a pretty girl can make you walk through a dicey hood. Fast forward a couple decades and I'm sitting a block away at Baohaus munching on Taiwanese bao. The LES has changed a lot but not enough to stanch the flow of memories.
It's become a strange stew of the decrepit and the newfangled. Shiny new towers have elbowed in amongst the tenements. Ditto the residents.