Talking with friends and strangers about the NYC Local businesses we love

This is the first Ray’s Pizza in New York City. It is located on Prince Street on the northern edge of Little Italy and was established in 1959. Image by Americasroof/Wikimedia

I spoke with strangers and friends to learn from them if they also thought that NYC local small businesses closing due to gentrification, is also a problem for them. I started the conversation by asking them if they knew a place they miss going to that has closed and how they felt about it when that happened. Here is something interesting quotes:

Places they miss:

“The original Ray’s Pizza on Spring Street. I think their lease ended. I felt sad when they closed because I won’t be able to eat there anymore. It is sad to see a neighborhood institution disappear and landlords are ruining businesses that make the fabric of a neighborhood.”
“Three places closed that I loved going to Vesca Italian restaurant, V-Note vegan restaurant, and Balon wine Bar. They were my favorite hangouts because they were quiet, people that worked there did the labor of love and weren’t a machine. People didn’t rush you to leave.”
“I liked Maria and Le studio from LES and they closed. I know the Maria closed because of tax and visa fraud! I felt sad that such a nice place was mismanaged. Now Le studio not sure why they closed. It was a very small place but I felt happy everytime I eat there. It was so cozy and everything was so delicious. Heartbroken.”

People were unaware these businesses were closing:

“I didn’t even know they were suffering if I knew maybe I could help.”

A sense of belonging:

“Places that people know your name makes you feel like you belong, especially in a city like New York.”