Buhbye Streit\'s

Slowly but surely, Old Timey Jewish institutions on Manhattan’s Lower East Side are giving way to the yuppies, frat boys and Wall Street assholes who are moving into the neighborhood in droves. The remnants of what was once the epicenter of Jewish life in North America are being driven out by simple demographics and insanely skyrocketing property values. The latest victim is the Streit’s Matzo factory on Rivington which is moving to New Jersey after an 80-year residency. The building it’s in is on the market. Asking price? $25 million. Shortly some property developer is probably going to put up yet another ugly luxury tower, totally out of sync with the area. Well moneyed buyers, probably Europeans given the current state of the economy and the US Dollar, will be drawn to the colorful and artistic LES whose charm and loveliness they, ironically, are helping displace and ultimately destroy. But that’s progress eh?

Nextbook, brings us a podcast on the matter:

The popular matzo will still appear in supermarkets each spring, alongside the macaroons and chocolate-covered jelly rings. But the family-run factory on Rivington Street is a landmark, and patrons who remember lining up outside its small storefront for their seder supply will be sorry to see it go. And so, during what might be Streit’s final Passover production run in the neighborhood, we sent Sean Cole to take a look at how the operation works.

You can listen to it here, but do visit Nextbook and check out one of the freshest and most insightful Jewish media offerings on the Web.

[audio:podcast_feature817.mp3]

Sigh. At least we still have Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

8 Comments

  • Yeah, it’s sad that the area is changing, but that’s life. There was once a vibrant Jewish community in Detroit, but now we all live in the suburbs because it’s safer and we don’t have to have racism and anti-semitism directed at us from inner city Detroiters. Such is life. Places and people change. Why “Wall Street assholes” though? Because they’re rich?

  • There are estimates that at the rate the sea level’s currently rising on the East Coast, Downtown Manhattan will be flooded within 50 years from now, so, you know, aprés nous

  • Yeah, that myth was debunked a while ago:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/science/13gore.html?_r=3&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    “It estimated that the world’s seas in this century would rise a maximum of 23 inches — down from earlier estimates. Mr. Gore, citing no particular time frame, envisions rises of up to 20 feet and depicts parts of New York, Florida and other heavily populated areas as sinking beneath the waves, implying, at least visually, that inundation is imminent.”

    But I really do hope that happens since I’ve always wanted to Surf Manhattan! It would be so awesome to hang ten between two dilapidated skyscrapers! Plus, can you imagine some of the blinged out gondolas the Puerto Ricans would have? Damn!

  • Maybe the NYT could do with a science editor. It takes as little as a rise of 20 inches of the sea level to cause floodings of lower Manhattan. A comparable rise of sea level will flood the Netherlands as well for instance, and there they are already working on new dykes (no pun intended).

  • Yeah, 23 inches over the next century they said. Wow!! Sooo scary!! Way scarier than Iran having a nuke in 1 year I’m sure.

    Nothing to be alarmed about. If we can send a man to the moon, build the entire nation of Israel in a couple of decades, and get a man pregnant, I’m sure we can handle the threat of 23 inches of rising sea levels to our largest and most technologically advanced city. Unlike Environmentalists, I don’t think Mother Earth “has it out for” us evil humans.

  • I got to ditto Alex in #1. Jews in the diaspora move. That’s life. Trying to preserve old Jewish neighbourhoods in NYC, Detroit, Mtl, and elsewhere is like trying to prevent water from evaporating. All diaspora concentrations were temporary, there’s nothing to show that America will be different. That’s our story for the past few thousand years, playing denial is arrogance and short-sightedness.

    On the other hand, I’m not criticizing being nostalgic about certain things, just that no one is to blame but ourselves.

  • Clearly the matza is disappearing because it is going into Ben & Jerry’s <a href=”http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/108121.html”matza ice cream.

  • Alex, I haven’t been to any cities in the US other than NYC, but technologically advanced compared to Central European and Northern European cities it’s not. That aside, I’m concerned about loons on the international political scene just as much as about the environment. Atheists like my younger brother certainly won’t personify Earth and assign it human attributes and emotions, but he nevertheless is into environmental science. Environmental consciousness is a matter of responsibility among both, atheists and religious folks, just that the latter put emphasis on the preservation of creation while the former put emphasis on the preservation of existence. BTW, it wasn’t a man who got pregnant, but a to the eye “transgendered” (they cannot replace chromosomal sets yet) person that kept his/her female reproductive organs, while usually transgendered people take being inable to procreate into account as their reproductive organs inevitably get destroyed if they go fully through with the procedures of surgeries and hormon therapies.

    Anyhow, Happy Pessach, Sashka! 🙂

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