With excruciatingly conflicting feelings of nostalgia and consumerism, Lynn Yaeger, with Robert Sietsema as her guide, takes on Bleecker Street in its current state this week.
Where there was once a Turk-run bodega, there’s now a Steve Madden store; the antique toy shop that inspired Yaeger’s own collection (and maybe her makeup routine) is now one of many Ralph Lauren stores.
But then again, our critics are not nearly the first to complain about the demise of this street. Sietsema recalls a few examples of stores whose arrivals seemed to signal the end of Bleecker, and those have now been replaced once or twice over. And Yaeger finds this quote from 1872:
Twenty-five years ago they were homes of wealth and refinement. Now . . . the old mansions are put to the viler uses of third-rate boarding houses and restaurants.
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