While agonizing over the decision to give up our lovely sliver of Orchard Street or move on to bigger things in Brooklyn, I drew up a pro and con list.
Near the top of the “pro” column for staying in the LES, I wrote “six floor walk-up.” Here’s why:
1. I’ve only twice managed to get myself over to the NYU gym
2. The stairwell has scarlet banisters, black and auburn tiles and the bottom half of the stairway walls are covered in red, embossed tin.
3. Elderly Chinese couples with canes scale these stairs everyday, laden with bags of produce from Chinatown. I hope to be half as tough as them when I’m in my eighties.
4. Each landing has a window, perfect for
spying glancing into the apartments of other mysterious residents. Peaks through windows and cracked doors reveal a mix of very packed, frayed apartments of Chinese families and very chic, modern spaces of the new Lower East Siders who leave for brunch with Prada on their arm.
5. While everything else inside the building has been modernized, in the old-fashioned details of the stairwell, it is most easy to imagine the former tenement children scampering up and down.