Is there anyone out there who still thinks that Manhattan’s Lower East Side is cool? I mean other than Kelsey? The neighborhood has long been a haven for wannabe-hipsters, NYU students slumming it in swank, renovated Mom-and-Dad paid for apartments and neo-yuppies trying to maintain that street cred they never had while wearing $900 Manolo Blahniks to work every morning. The vast majority of the old school Jews have moved out. The squatters and punks are gone, the artists can’t afford to live there and all that remains is this vague and distant memory of a place that used to be fun, said vague memory now available for $1600 a month for a small studio. If you’re lucky.
So can it get worst? Yes indeed it most definitely can! The news is out that Madonna / Esther has plans to finance a three story Kabbalah Center at 179 Ludlow Street on the LES. The three story space she is looking at will rent for about $45,000 a month, which kind of makes me wonder… who are the idiots that are buying all that water?? Why is Yehuda Berg of the Kabbalah Center listed as one of the top 10 most influential Rabbis in America? When the hell is Madonna going to get over this Kabbalah crap already??
The Gawker post on this story, from which I lifted the beautiful graphic that I used as an illustration, takes a stoic attitude to the whole affair and quotes the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hassidic Judaism:
Everything is by Divine Providence. If a leaf is turned over by a breeze, it is only because this has been specifically ordained by G-d to serve a particular function within the purpose of creation.
That’s sweet. Yes. Gawker quoted the Baal Shem Tov and even added a dash between the letters G an D when mentioning God. I mean Gawker? Being machmir? And the notion of the degeneration, degredation and yuppification of the LES being simply God’s will? Nice. As for me, I’d like to quote internationally renowned NYC DJ, Junior Vasquez as follows:
If Madonna calls, I’m not here.
I wish more people would take that advice.