After a six-year relationship with the Lower East Side, former New York Observer editor John Vorwald penned a letter to the Times announcing that his affair with the neighborhood has ended due to irreconcilable differences. Vorwald says he was attracted to the community because it reminded him of "a gracefully aging rocker, grizzled and sage" — but now the Lower East Side is running with a different crowd.
For years I defended you. I stood by you — faithful to a fault. When people said you were dirty or unkempt, I called it character. When they said you were running with a shady crowd and staying out too late, I said it was a phase. And when they shook their heads and said you’d sold out, I’d say you’d come back around.
But I was wrong.
The writer has sworn to move out of his residence at the corner of Rivington and Ludlow streets, leaving his old love to the "[h]ordes of banker boys in J. Press checked shirt/chino uniforms" and "[t]oothsome Upper East Side girl packs" who he claims have become the regulars at neighborhood newcomers like Thor, Fat Baby and Spitzer's. In the essay, Vorwald details a number of ways in which he and his neighborhood have grown apart, but the piece leaves one question unanswered — whether it's the L.E.S. that has changed, or Vorwald himself.