Thursday, July 19, 2012

East 23rd Slaughter

We took a walk through Gramercy a few years ago as big changes started coming in. Now JVNY reader M.S. sends in the following report, with photos, from a midnight stroll around East 23rd Street, where blocks are being decimated.

She writes, "Five more spaces are up for lease or emptied between 2nd and 3rd Avenues on East 23rd. Somehow the 99-cent store survived, though one would be hard pressed to find anything under two dollars there. Add these to all the other closings in the past few years--the bakery, decades-old family businesses replaced by a massive nail salon, and the health food store moved two blocks uptown. Every day another one drops, and something higher priced or more corporate rises."

And what's pushing this wave of destruction? "Tempo is picking up the pace" says the website for the new Tempo300 luxury condo box on 23rd Street and 2nd Avenue. The development "brings together the right place at the right time for those who know they have the right to expect the best of everything."

And the image on the outside says it all. Welcome to YunnieTown.


Anonymous said...

Tempo? Another condo-box for wannabe Maxim girls and the douchebags who pursue them. Why do I continue to live here? It's a question that demands an answer.

Jocelyn said...

Back in my day there was a coffee shop on the corner of 2nd and 23rd and a thrift shop I would go to with my grandma in the middle of the block. I'm sure they both are long gone.....from reading JVNY it sounds like I wouldn't even recognize my old neighborhood.

Bobby said...


There still is a coffee shop on the corner of 23st and 2nd ave "Orion" coffee shop. Newly decoratedand the food isn't bad. Not like "Sarges" but decent.

SJF said...

The empty furnishings store is now occupied by a bicycle shop. And there is still a diner on the corner of 23rd and 2nd. Something new is coming to one of the other vacant spaces, judging by the work permits in the window. Really like all of the thrifts that line 23rd Street, worth checking out. Paws for Cauz, for animal rescue, the NYC Opera Thrift Shop, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Housing Works and just off 23rd on 3rd Vintage.

Grand St. said...

Where there was once a temple, there is the Tempo.

That corner was home to the East End Temple for decades, before they moved to other (smaller?) digs a few blocks south.

Katrink said...

Is it just me, or does the woman on the ad for the maximum-security condo look like a blow-up doll?
I used to LOVE East 23rd Street. What a shame. No reason to go there now.

Jonathan said...

There's a new luxury box opening in Stamford soon, and the "now leasing" ad on the building actually says "Future tycoons wanted." Just change it to "Rich douchebags only."

Pat said...

While there are vacancies all around the neighborhood, 23rd Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues on the other, uptown side, is all occupied, anchored by the School of Visual Arts and the School for the Deaf. One business that left I miss the most was Kanter Press & Stationery, between 3rd & Lexington on the downtown side of 23rd Street. The little building was sold and a 12 story narrow steel & glass thing went up. The Press moved a block away but the stationery store is no more. It is so hard to find a real stationery store in the city now.

Anonymous said...

Why do they think they "have the right" to "expect" the "best of everything"? Have they cured a disease? Have they built up a multinational corporation from a mom and pop start up? Have they donated food to the hungry? What is it exactly that makes these people think they "deserve" such luxury?

Whenever I see the phrase, "You Deserve It," I always laugh, because the intended audience has rarely done anything remarkable.

And on another note, you'd think that such a fancy place could have afforded a better, classier model for its ads. The farbissina punim on her could scare away even the Yunnies!