Over summer vacation I read Bleak House, and I was struck by Dickens’s message of how charity should begin at home. I struggled to think of a way that I could apply this message to my own life, as my home consists of me and my cat, and that freeloader gets enough charity out of me.
But then I started to think about my beloved neighborhood, Greenwich Village, and I remembered reading this sad article in The New Yorker about greedy landlords uglifying the neighborhood by refusing to rent out their buildings to anyone but a CVS or a Chase Bank who can afford to pay astronomically high rents.
I had gotten the general impression, while wandering around the Village, that there seemed to be an unseemly amount of hideous and depressing burned out storefronts where once there had been vintage clothing stores, Chinese restaurants that serve cold sesame noodles, and tea shops frequented by local drag queens. But was this just a vague impression, or could I back it up by careful research?
I decided to spend today roaming around the Village from Broadway to the east, Hudson to the west, Houston to the south, and 14th Street to the north. photographing all of the pathetically empty ghost buildings I could find. I was going to stop at 100, but at last count I had 103.
Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the proof:
Approximately 100 Abandoned Buildings in Greenwich Village
I would just like to remind everyone that these ghost buildings on Broadway are historically and architecturally valuable and deserve better than this kind of treatment.
Just when you thought these pictures couldn’t get more depressing, along comes that mattress.
This used to be a Barnes and Noble’s, but it’s just been left empty like this for years and years.
This was a really tasty vegetarian restaurant, and I’m not even a vegetarian. Now it’s a place a middle-schooler might enter on a five dollar bet.
I literally have to walk past this every day.
This used to be Indian Taj, where you could get a yummy, cheap buffet lunch. Now it is nothing.
This used to be the legendary Cafe Figaro. Then it was a Qdoba. Now at least it has a blue ladder outside?
Once a Banana Republic, then an American Apparel, then a burned out shell with an American Apparel sign on it.
This was a great drugstore that got forced out because of the rent hikes. Oh well, there’s always CVS!
I used to get my freeloading cat pet food where that green wall is now.
Well, I guess they were asking for it, opening a Donut place next to a Starbucks…
I checked online, though there are still benches inside, Oliver’s City Tavern here is definitely closed for good.
If Lulu Guinness can’t make it on Bleecker St., all hope may be lost.
There! I hope that was enough to convince you that something must be done about this. Now it’s your turn, Mayor De Blasio, Commissioner Gordon or whoever else is listening, to stop the evil Penguin Landlord from destroying Gotham City with his ludicrous rents. If I can take these 100 something pictures, I’m sure you can do something, no matter how small.
Who is the Travelerette? I am a native New Yorker who doesn't know how to drive or ride a bicycle. I speak French very well and Japanese very badly. In five years I have traveled in six continents, 26 countries, and 86 cities. My next travel goal is to visit all 50 states (and DC) in five years.
I am here to provide perfect travel itineraries with 24 hours, 3 fun facts, and 1,000,000 laughs! I hope that I can motivate you to get out there, see the world, learn something, and have a sense of humor about it all.