Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You Catch Them, I'll Clean Them


You Catch Them, I'll Clean Them, originally uploaded by Goggla.

I came across this character outside the Bowery Mission. He wanted to pose for the picture and played up his part as a down-and-outer. He's one of the last of these men who reside on the Bowery.

Gentrification is quickly erasing the color of the neighborhood. The Mission, itself a Bowery landmark, is flanked by a new modern art museum and the Sunshine Hotel, which houses men who've seen better days.

Although progress can be good and this formerly seedy neighborhood is being cleaned up, it saddens me to see the obliteration of an entire culture. I've been walking this stretch of street for only eight years now and in that time, I've seen the restaurant equipment mechanics, plumbing outfitters and furniture wholesalers replaced by doggie boutiques and luxury condos.

I guess I identify more with this man than I do the millionaires.