In a post this morning at Room Eight, State Senator Serrano comes out in defense of small neighborhood retailers. Here's the money quote: "First, we are losing the businesses that matter most. As part of the Supermarket Task Force that I started earlier this year, I mapped out the closures of several East Harlem supermarkets in recent years. This represents a loss of jobs, and reduced access to nutritious and affordable food.
At the core of the crisis is rent, which is doubling and even tripling in some areas of Upper Manhattan. In the Bronx, artists are getting creative and using their own walk-up apartments as gallery space. For the most part, though, there’s no substitute for a storefront.
Meanwhile, big box stores are sprouting everywhere you look, including East River Plaza in East Harlem and the Gateway Center at (the former) Bronx Terminal Market. But for all the time and money this City has expended on a corporate future, it has barely lifted a finger to protect mom and pop."
We need to mobilize all of our resources in order to preserve what has made New York City unique: its vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. If nothing is done soon, NYC will begin to resemble little more than a suburban shopping mall.