Local Passport: Sundry City


I’VE BEEN GIVING THE SHOE LEATHER a good workout these past months, covering community development for WSJ. A few TripTiks here:

You can still catch a vestige of the old Lower East Side at Moscot, one of the original immigrant-family businesses and only one of about five still remaining here. The store will relocate across the street after 77 years in the same spot. You won’t trip up the lopsided wooden stairs into a bespectacled world of wacky frames and memorabilia any longer, but the new space, across Delancey, will continue the store’s quirky brand of hip.

In the Wallabout, storefronts are brushing off the Navy yard grit and gearing up for what could be Brooklyn’s next “it” neighborhood. Where you used to get cheap drinks and lap dances, you’ll soon have Brooklyn-roasted coffee; illegal lofts are becoming legit and soon you won’t even grumble about the lack of public transportation.

Lower MacDougal Street is the last place in SoHo you’d expect to find peace and quiet. One block still tells the story of a neighborhood that’s all but vanished under the siege of national chain stores and trendy restaurants.

In the shadow of the George Washington Bridge lies a small strip of a neighborhood that, with its leafy trees and trellised stone staircases, seems more Parisian than New York. Here, mom & pop stores thrive, neighbors know each other, and the scale remains human.

FIKA, a Swedish specialty coffee house is one of a few gourmet food purveyors reclaiming the historic roots of TriBeCa’s food manufacturing base. The new chocolate production kitchen expands the operation and brings a sweet spot to an emerging neighborhood.

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