It was a dark and stormy night and the village is changing

Yesterday and last night was a wash out.  Fred and I braved the storm and went to see Un Secret at the IFC on Waverly and Sixth Avenue.   

The IFC was built a few years ago.  Not that much has really changed about that block and area since the doors opened at the IFC.  The films that have shown there have been random.  The line up for Fall looks as though the choices will be geared towards more film festival winners.  I hope so.  The theater seems under utilized.  Last night was the first time I saw people actually waiting in line to see this movie. 

The entire neighborhood is changing not on that block but through out the West Village.  Lots of conversation about the rents going up but I am not sure that is the entire reason.  On Christopher Street, Rag and Bone just opened next door to Lord Willy's.  Two stores geared towards the hipsters of NYC sitting among tattoo parlors and gay sex shops.  Why? 

NYC is a true capitalist democracy.  Change is constant.  We are watching the changing of downtown NYC post 9/11.  Tribeca has surged with a Whole Foods and a variety of hipster fashion boutiques. Again, why? 

The customers and people that used to frequent the stores that are closing after so many years in the neighborhood are closing because their customers are gone.  Perhaps they have been pushed out by the cost of owning or renting an apartment or perhaps they have aged and their interest to shop in those stores doesn't exist anymore. 

The 20 year old punk rockers of yesteryear are not the 20 year old hipsters of today.  The 20 year olds of today might be looking for a great rental but their sense of fashion and interests are completely different than it was in the 70's.  The people walking and living around the streets of the West Village are not frequenting the shoe stores that exist on 8th street or the sex shops on Christopher.  They are walking through Rag and Bone or Marc Jacobs.  Granted in 10 years, the customer will change again and maybe people won't be interested in the Magnolia Bakery.  That is what makes this city so great.  It is economics 101.  Supply and demand. 

As for Un Secret, I do love the French films but this is long and not that well edited.  The story is compelling but not that interesting.  I wouldn't put it high on the list of movies to see. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Peter

    One of the sources of the constant retail change in NYC finally occurred to me a few months ago.In most of America, if you start a business, you can frequently purchase the building you’re in. After all, most buildings are only a few stories tall and are possibly expensive for a shop owner, but manageable.IN NYC, most shops are in the first floor of 5 story buildings, if not 20 or 30 story buildings. They most definitely CANNOT afford to own their shop. Hence, every ten years, as their lease comes up for renewal, they’re likely pushed out. (This is probably why the village has held out against massive change a bit longer than most neighborhoods — shorter buildings = higher ownership.)And sadly, knowing they’ll be pushed out likely keeps them from investing as much as they can in the location.I suppose this has become true in non-urban America as well. One used to own their store front on Main street or the town square, but not in the strip mall on the state highway.Sigh.Peterhttp://www.FlashlightWorthy…Books so good, they’ll keep you up past your bedtime. 😉

    1. Gotham Gal

      If the shops were doing the business, they could afford the rent. There areplenty of stores in NYC that have continued to reinvent themselves and theirinventory which is why they succeed. Like any business, if you don’tcontinue to change with the times, you die.


    i think it is not a question of supply and demand, the entire landscape of the city is being redrawn by commercial landlords. i live in midtown, and all around me the stores we supported, the small service businesses, the discount stores are closing . not because they have no customers, or fewer customers, but because the landlord raised their rents, by ridiculous amounts. in the place of these businesses, we are getting banks and chain drugstores. think about it, the city and its neighbourhoods, are being shaped not by the people but by a few commercial greedy interests, the way my block looks now, is entirely as a result of the commercial landlords not renewing the rents of the small businesses, not a result of the people living on the blocks not supporting the businesses. this destruction of our neighbourhoods, and our city, is not a thing to be lauded.

    1. Gotham Gal

      That is upsetting. But everything is a cycle. Eventually the bigbusinesses won’t want to pay the rent if people don’t frequent theirlocations.