Trashy to Trendy

Greene Street, SOHO 1970's © Allan Tannenbaum

Greene Street, SOHO 2010 ©Google

I read quite a lot of news and a lot of blogs. From the bit of reading I do, it seems that there is a rekindled sense worldwide that historic cities and towns deserve attention. The trashy is now becoming trendy. Interior design magazines and blogs are filled with people restoring commercial and residential spaces into new rejuvenated homes.

In comparison to after WWII when everyone was fleeing the city life for the newly constructed suburbs like Levittown, it seems that many people today are looking to move back to the very places their parents and grandparents left – even if that means living in an urban seedy part of town. Cities are ever changing places that go through cycles all the time. What was once an infamous, dangerous drug infested block, is now considered “hip” and full of young families who feel safe. At times, the change is baffling and it makes you sit back and think, “Wow, who would’ve thought?”

Triangle Building in Meatpacking District 2010, 2002© dicegirlsnapz, flickr

Going through Brooklyn and Manhattan my Dad tells me many stories of what the streets used to be like in the 70′s and the 80′s.  Some places have been notorious for decades as “bad neighborhoods” to live in. Newcomers are considered “insane” or “crazy” to buy a home in that part of town, and then, something happens. People start catching on, fixing up old homes, small businesses open, the garbage is cleaned up, and little by little the neighborhood becomes desirable.

Each place that goes through this transformation has it’s own factors that have made it possible. I’ve been collecting a few articles on other neighborhoods, towns, and cities, that have gone through or still going through the same cycle. I find them inspiring and I hope you will be inspired too. Whether you live in Newburgh or not, old homes and rundown cities deserve to revived and saved with the same love and care with which they were built. It’s time to get the ball rolling in Newburgh!

PS- Click on this amazing photo documentary to see photos of NYC, NJ, and CA through different decades.

Harlem 1990, 2007 © Camilo José Vergara

Harelm 1991, 2007 © Camilo José Vergara

Harelm 1991, 2007 © Camilo José Vergara