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Remembering 86th Street: Drugs, Hookers and Germans

With both Related and Extell building big properties on East 86th Street (Extell rendering at right) and neighborhood staples like Old Fashioned Doughnuts closing down, the Observer's Michael Calderone takes the 4,5,6 on up to 86th to gauge the mood of some Upper East Side lifers. Turns out that the mallification that has taken over the strip and led to a homogenous blob of snooze-worthy retail doesn't sit well with the folks who can recall the glory days of German beer halls and crack whores. That doesn't mean things haven't improved somewhat, though, right 28-year-old William Rover?

"I went to an Upper East Side private school, and I thought I was a target," he said. "It’s not necessarily bad for me that the area is like a mall. I do go to Best Buy. I feel like I’m ‘selling out’ from an elitist techie standpoint, but it’s convenient and I can get anything I want." Another one lost to the allure of affordable Bluetooth accessories. Oh, and Calderone says Barnes & Noble and H&M have signed on to the Extell project, and anyone who floats a Whole Foods rumor is an organic dillweed. The rent's too high, papi.
· While East 86th Street Waits for H. and M., It’s Real-Estate DMZ [Observer]
· Successors to Sauerbraten and Strudel on E. 86th [Curbed]