I love New York City.
Well, I love the New York City that may not be quite there anymore. It's a bit like looking at a six-foot-tall guy and remembering him as a toddler -- in this case, an adorable but naughty toddler.
I remember when NYC had grit and wonder and edge and CBGB's and the 2nd Ave Deli!
The day they turned the 2nd Ave Deli into a Chase, I knew the NYC of my heart was no longer. I went in to make a bank deposit, and I swear I smelled pastrami.
Most of the mom and pop stores that made NYC so magical are gone. They have been replaced with big chains, superstores, condos, condos and more condos, and did I mention condos?
Now they want to knock down Junior's in Brooklyn and put up what? Yes, condos!
Penny wise, pound foolish is a phrase that comes to mind so often.
Yes, the crime is way down. That is great, but also way down are the character, the wonder, and the glorious kaleidoscope that made NYC so friggin' awesome.
I know from my own path of running a small business in NYC for decades how hard it is to stay here. Every new law that is passed seems to put money into the pockets of just about everyone BUT the business owner.
But when the small business owner is pushed out, doesn't everyone lose? Workers lose their jobs. Agencies can no longer collect fees. The neighborhood loses its character and New York City takes one more step toward being everywhere else.
Sometimes I look around my corner on the Lower East Side and feel as though I am trying to hold the torch for the NYC I love, disappearing a little more every day.
A luxury 13-story building is going up next door. I'm sure a Starbucks is on the way.
And by the way, what happened to Mars Bar?
I haven't given up, YET. I am still fighting the enormous pull to leave NYC for a cheaper, easier, far less stressful place to do business.
I stay, if but for no other reason, to hold the fort!
Long live CBGB's!
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