Poking around New York in Soho last week I thought about something the teacher of the Zen Buddhism class I recently attended said.
He explained that in Buddhism, nothing is believed to be permanent. There is no future, no past, only now. Everything is changing.
Weird to think about Zen in the midst of the cacophony of the sights and sounds of New York City. But I did.
The everything changes is what occurred to me about Soho. Soho is a small area South of Houston Street between Greenwich Village and Ground Zero.
I remember going there in the late 80s when I traveled to New York twice a year to write about the big fashion shows for the Grand Rapids Press. Jim Starkey, the Press’s head of photography and insatiable traveler, took me to Soho, saying, “Susan, I think you are going to love this part of town.”
He was right and I did. This was the hey day of artists renting loft spaces and the advent of small galleries and clever little shops. I amused myself for hours, meandering about ogling interesting people, cutting edge art and trendy stuff all housed in old warehouse buildings from the 1800s.
Well, my Zen teacher is right. Everything changes. The rents skyrocketed. The artists had to move out. While there are some creativity going on, the big chain stores moved in……Bloomingdales, Victoria Secret and soon an Apple store. Doesn’t get more Main Street that that.
Coolness has clearly moved on.
I see a hint of the crazy, funky fun old days here and there and it is a great spot to Power Shop …..but mostly I understand the sometimes nutty, very creative folks have moved to Chelsea and the Meatpacking District near the High Line…
Or maybe out to Brooklyn.
The edgy vibe of the downtown gallery is gone.
If you know where it went, will you add your experience to the comment section? I’d like to find it.