Jenna Weissman Josselit writes in the Forward about walking the historical, and the contemporary, Lower East Side.
Sometimes when I walk through the neighborhood — either on an errrand or just a stroll — I see walking tours being led. And sometimes I ask myself:
“Have they so successfully crossed into the past on their tour that they haven’t reserved some time to see the neighborhood as it is today?”
This essay negotiates that ground very nicely:
Armed with maps and guidebooks and all manner of suggestions, you would think that making your way through the streets of the Lower East Side would be easy and effortlessly rewarding…the greatest challenge we faced was that the Lower East Side, these days, is a living, breathing neighborhood with an integrity all its own…it became increasingly clear to me and, I suspect, to my companions that the realities of history were no match for the realities of the present…