Hot on the heels of various assaults and muggings taking place in the vicinity, 145th St. has it's first, free-standing, exterior ATM machine. It is kept company by three payphones steps away from each other, with another two or three payphones in the subway station below. The ATM sits about 5 feet left of the subway stairs, and is blocked from sidewalk view on that same side by the subway stairs wrought iron fencing and advertisement display sitting atop it.
I snapped this photo, at approximately 12:30 am, moments before three people speaking with European accents used the machine. Whose backs were turned to the street during the transaction. On the corner of 145th and St Nicholas, in a darkened corner behind the ABCD subway station entrance.
SEE: NY Police Officer Offers Tips On How Not To Get Mugged, What To Do If You Do Get Mugged
Is gentrification like reading a book, with the next chapters having already been written and simply waiting for you to read them? If so, this neighborhood is at an authors reading.
Six years ago, 145th St east of St Nicholas Ave was rezoned, and the change that followed was swift and and dramatic. New condos, Starbucks, Banks, displacement, the whole sh-bang. Like the end of a fireworks display, that was a jaw dropping finale. A chapter was written and read.
In June of this year, a Dunkin' Donuts opened on the SE corner of 145th and St. Nicholas, in what had long had been a bar that neighbors had mixed feelings about. A T-Mobile store followed on Amsterdam shortly after. The bodega on the NW corner of the 145th and St. Nicholas received a months long renovation, replete with a grand re-opening as new deli. A juice bar selling five dollar juices opened next door. The Baton Rouge opened, closed, re-opened, and closed again, this time being sold to new owners.
Recently a group of three young kids moved in to an apartment in my building, musicians who I believe to be exiles from downtown Manhattan. A boyfriend of one recently came to visit, and couldn't get his significant other on the phone as he stood outside. He requested to be let in. "why don't you buzz her?" I asked.
"I dont know what apt. she is. I mean, I'm not trying to sneak in. I promise. She just moved in, she is not answering her phone, and I'm not sure what number she is." Inside, I rolled my eyes.
In sections of downtown Manhattan, Orchard St for instance, there can be 4-5 free standing ATM's on one block. Quietly, they make me angry inside. In a juvenile, reactionary, classist, selfish way. And now we have one on 145th, across the street from one in the deli and others in the bank. I've read this book once, and didn't really care for it. The ending broke my heart.
UPDATE: Exciting Developments Tomorrow!