Sunday, March 9, 2008

No room for mom and pop in the neighborhood

Hate to say it, but this was all too inevitable. From this week's issue of The Villager:

Discount stores, ethnic restaurants and small local businesses line the south side of E. 14th St. along the stretch of Alphabet City. Many of these congenial mom-and-pop shops have been serving the lower- and middle-income Lower East Side and Stuyvesant Town communities for decades with their affordable prices and personal customer relationships. But it is becoming more and more difficult for these establishments to survive, caught between rising rents and gentrification. Charlies, at 532 E. 14th St. between Avenues A and B, a neighborhood staple for the past 41 years, is the latest to fall victim to this trend.

Bonnie Rosenstock's article says Charlies will shutter at the end of this month.

“I’ve been coming here since I was 7 or 8,” said a 46-year-old Hispanic woman. “We need to have our community stores. This is what keeps the neighborhood healthy. There is so much greed that is destroying the neighborhood.”

[Image: Villager photo by Bonnie Rosenstock]

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