My LES Story

A Lower East Side Guide

A New York Origin Story

Hey everyone! My name is Miles and I’m proud to be a New Yorker. Born in the Lower East Side in the 80’s, I’ve seen a lot of growth and change in Manhattan. Some for the best and some for the worst, but I guess that’s just life right?

My pa was a firefighter for ladder 15 during the 80s and 90s before they even had a facebook page. So I got to see that mythical culture from the bootstraps of my dad. Meanwhile my mother was a teacher and shifted to a stay at home mom when I was born. I can’t speak more highly of these two individuals as they’ve shaped my life in a very profound way. Dad always used to take us to Katz’s before it cost $20 for a sandwich (which I will gladly pay to this day).

Today my dad and mom are still kicking. They’ve retired and hit up Long Island as folks do. I’m still paying my dues in the ever-developing jungle that is the Lower East Side. I’m working in Times Square and loving every second of it, although the chaos can get a little overwhelming at times. But it’s the pulse of the city that really keeps me going. It’s the adrenaline of thousands of busy people all moving and living in such a small space. The small interactions that bind us that go unseen really have a strong impact on me.

A Firsthand Glimpse Into a Changing Landscape

This article looks at the vanishing landscape of a cultural New York, and I’m afraid it’s right. Just walk through Times Square and you’ll see a representation of chain stores and high end boutiques that any mall in America would have. The prices are getting so ridiculous that ma and pa stores which used to thrive now have to either join the social media age or risk losing everything.

It’s sad that it’s come to this, but not to worry; there still is hope. Gentrification is the buzzword that’s been thrown around for years. It is now more than just a word, but a physical manifestation of a homogenized landscape catered for the elites. 20 years ago an apartment in Brooklyn was a feasible aspiration for a middle class 20-something. Today it can be done if you want to put 80% of your wages towards a place.

I dabbled in the art scene for a while and it was really disheartening to see my friends start getting priced out of their apartments. I don’t want to get into the politics of it, but there’s something wrong when all of the Chinese have to vacate Chinatown because prices are too high. Is there not any decency? Don’t people see that the priceless artifacts of culture are being gobbled up by the luxury condos and Starbucks of the world.

Let’s Get Coffee!

I’m here to dispel the notion of the cold-hearted New Yorker. That’s why it’s my mission to share my perspectives and recommendations with as many people as possible. Like music? Let me tell you my favorite venues. Want to know the best place to get pulled pork in Bushwick? I can pork you in the right direction too hehe. Just visit my contact page and I’ll make sure to respond to you if you’re not a bot.