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Looking Back on Lower East Side Gentrification (Part 1 of 2!)

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One of the 47,000 new hotels on Orchard Street will be designed by Hotel on Rivington architects Grzywinski Pons (this one, perhaps?), target the "young, un-moneyed traveler" and be called Stories_NY. We know this because the Post reported it in its huge story on the transformed Lower East Side today, and while the piece may be a bit late to the whole LES-is-changing thing, there is some good quotage looking back on the past few years of the nabe's gentrification:

1) Corcoran's Barrie Mandel: "The people who bought [at Blue] were people who 10 years ago would have bought in the Village and five years ago would have bought in SoHo and two years ago would have bought in NoLIta."

2) Fat Hippo (Clinton Street restaurant) co-owner Chris Scott: "I've watched this area go from street fights to kids puking in the streets. Those bridge-and-tunnel places are what made this area better."

Yep, those bridge-and-tunnel places have certainly made the area totally awesome, but has the LES managed to retain some of its soul? Yes, says Century 21 NY Metro broker Mary Lou Currier: "It's what old New York used to be like. It's not these generic box stores and Gaps." Please, nobody tell her about Steve Madden and American Apparel.
· More or LES [NYPost]