Mapping Vacant Storefronts in New York City

New-to-Me: My friend Esther S. sent me a note about VacantNewYork.com weeks ago, but I’m still catching up. It’s a map of vacant storefronts in New York City. From the “How It’s Made” page: “The project began with a mix of frustration and curiosity. Almost every single store, venue, grungy dive bar, and cheap restaurant I visited as a starry-eyed punk rock teenager and questing twentysomething was gone. Some were replaced with chain retail and luxury brands (and banks, so many banks) but an increasing number were sitting empty. My neighborhood began to look decrepit. As much as I bemoan national chains and the homogenization of the city, you can argue to me that the nationals are beneficial: they can weather economic downturns, they create jobs, they provide cheap goods and services to people who can’t afford much. I’ll probably still think you’re wrong, but I’ll listen to the arguments. Vacant storefronts provide value to nobody.”

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