The photo and text are courtesy of longtime East Village resident Anton van Dalen ...
This scene compresses several histories of our neighborhood, a history of slash and burn economics.
Many of us were in a state of disbelief when a 7-Eleven opened at 35 St Mark's Place, but then the chain store imploded in just 18 months. Removal of the 7-Eleven signage reveals that JAS Mart, the Japanese grocery store, had been at site before.
And asleep in front on a sliver of sidewalk the homeless person, completing this parable of neglect.
I have noticed that certain addresses seem doomed, repeatedly turning over tenants and each time ending up abandoned, suggesting that some landlords have no clue or curiosity about the needs and subtleties of our neighborhood. Each time the renovation will take about a year, causing turmoil with neighboring businesses and community.