Can't say how happy I am that things turned out as well as they have for Brian Rose and his decades encompassing project Time And Space On The Lower East Side. Thank god someone went to the trouble of documenting this historical and life changing area of one of the greatest, most important cities the world has ever seen. A city made great not by its blood sucking Trumps and Wall St. financiers, but by the "little people" who continued to trudge through its life long inequities- people like my folks who came to its shores from a small island in the Caribbean to eke out an existence in a $30 cold water flat back in the fifties. And their offspring who survived the seventies as the infrastructure crumbled, the Bronx burned and Loisaida went through the ravages of yet another heroin epidemic, followed by the scourge of crack, before finally being thrown into the onslaught of wholesale depravity known as gentrification. Many of The Lower East Side's remaining poor scrambled onward to Brooklyn, only to be chased out yet again in the nineties.
NYC is hardly the place that stops to shed a tear, the inexorable shark that must keep swimming, must keep moving, whether for its own good, or not. Rose has managed to document one of the most representational sections of that city's history (culturally, geographically, ethnically) that now exists only in the long term memories of its long time residents, and then takes the extra step to show how it has transformed into the city that we see before us today.