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New York City: Constantly Changing


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.


Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Dec 17, 2011 Reply

    I’d like to know the answers that you get to your question…where DID the fun small boutiques and edgy galleries go? Not just in NYC, but other small towns where very little of the original creative side remains (Aspen and Santa Fe are two quick examples). I also like your comparison to the Zen lecture we heard recently.

  2. posted by
    Why I love New York | DesignDestinations
    Jan 23, 2012 Reply

    […] While some things are constantly changing (see my blog on Soho), some things stay the same. For example I never get tired or less excited about the big tree at […]

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