The Lower East Side is changing! You blink once, and the neighborhood has gone from an immigrant-packed hovel of tenements to a rich jerk-packed hovel. Of condos! The National Trust for Historic Preservation has just named the entire freaking neighborhood one the nation's 11 most endangered places:
"Slapdash and haphazard renovations have led to the destruction of architectural detail, while modern additions to historic buildings sharply contrast with the neighborhood's scale and character. In 2007, permits were approved for the full demolition of 11 buildings on the Lower East Side, compared with just one in 2006. These developments, among others, signify the quickening erasure of the neighborhood's architectural and socio-cultural fabric...
A melting pot of cultures and nationalities, the Lower East Side remains central to the social history of the United States. Its preservation of 19th and early 20th century properties convey the story of immigrant home, health, entrepreneurship, labor, education and recreational life in New York City."
Well, at least the character of the neighborhood will be forever preserved on Grand Theft Auto IV. And on the plus side, the Bowery Boys have really calmed down lately.