The East 125th Street redevelopment and East River Plaza projects are set to transform East Harlem into the latest glitzy enclave of shiny and fabulous new residential, cultural and commercial development (economy permitting), so before all that happens, Jeremiah over at Vanishing New York files an epic blog post from El Barrio—and he's in love:
People walk without cell phones and iPods. They talk to each other, calling from one side of the street to the other. They even talked to me--at least three people made pleasant, impromptu conversation on the street. Mothers with strollers steered out of the way. No one--not one person, in that sea of humanity--bumped into me.
It "feels like an older New York City" Jeremiah writes, but there are plenty of new buildings already sprouting or finished. Jeremiah hit a bunch of them on his walking tour, and he shares one exchange he had in an unnamed sales office:
I went into a condo office where the salesman tried to convince me to buy, saying, "This neighborhood is finally becoming residential." Finally? It's already filled with residential buildings, packed with families and working people. He listed several of the condos going up and told me that the neighborhood will soon be completely changed. In short time, he said, "You won't even recognize it."
Why would I want that? Why would anyone?