LES Partnership Holds Ludlow Street Visioning Workshop Thursday, Oct. 13

Orchard Street visioning workshop; February 2014.

Orchard Street visioning workshop; February 2014.

Coming up tomorrow night, the Lower East Side Partnership is hosting a community visioning workshop focused on the future of Ludlow Street. It’s part of a larger community engagement effort the organization has launched ahead of a possible expansion of its 25-year-old business improvement district.

The Partnership already staged a visioning session on Canal Street. The Ludlow Street workshop will be aimed at streetscape improvements such as curb extensions, new trees, benches, parking changes, etc. It’s also aimed at addressing some of the impacts from the neighborhood’s nightlife businesses.

Like a similar visioning workshop revolving around Orchard Street a couple of years ago, people will be able to work with a 3D model of the block. The event will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Lower East Side tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St. You can also will out an online “needs assessment” survey and/or work with an online tool that allows you to create a new Ludlow or Canal Street.

To read our previous coverage of this project, click here.

Photographer Thomas Holton on “The Lams of Ludlow Street”

photo via ThomasHolton.com

photo via ThomasHolton.com

We stopped by the Chatham Square Library last week for photographer Thomas Holton‘s talk on his 13 year project, The Lams of Ludlow Street.

Holton started off with a photo from the first day he met the Lams, a Chinese family of five, living in a 350 square foot apartment on Ludlow Street. The black and white image features the three Lam children, at the time ranging in age between 2-6 years, propped up on individual stools, surrounded by coats in plastic hangers across the kitchen sink in their small, tenement apartment. For a year Holton shot in black and white, but he soon shifted to color.

Raised in New York City, Holton was born to a Chinese mother and an American father. Although he was close to his mother’s side of the family, Holton felt disconnected to his Chinese heritage. “I was the only one that didn’t speak the language,” Holton says, “I was always a bit lost at the dinner table.”

He discovered photography at the age of 15 and credits his father, who was a freelance photographer himself, as one of the reasons why he’s in this field. He remembers traveling with his dad while he was on assignment and for a time, Holton thought that the key to taking amazing pictures is being in exotic, far away locations. “One of the things I learned from this project is that’s not necessarily true,” he said.

While studying photography at SVA, Holton reached out to the University Settlement about an idea to photograph families in Chinatown. “When you’re walking around Chinatown what do you see? You see apartments,” Holton said, “What’s behind those doors?…I really wanted to get behind closed doors, see what life is like in Chinatown.” While working alongside the Settlement, Holton met about a dozen families and recalls most, if not all of those meetings lasting 20 minutes. “I was able to take a couple pictures and that was it. So yes, I was getting behind closed doors but what was happening was very limiting.” Then he met the Lams.

Photo via ThomasHolton.com

Photo via ThomasHolton.com

The family invited Holton for dinner. A few more dinner invites later, a sixth chair at the dinner table was propped up and Holton was there once a week. He was even put on the list of people allowed to pick up the kids after school. “I didn’t think it was gonna turn into a 13 year personal project,” Holton said, “What started off as a traditional social documentary project… turned into a much more personal exploration of their life, as well as my own my Chinese heritage.”

Holton’s photographs (now a book) tell an important narrative that is often overlooked. The Lams of Ludlow strips itself of the outsider’s common perceptions and examines the honest reality that immigrant families face all over the world.

Although the family has gone through many ups and downs — the parents divorced, the kids grew up and are struggling with adolescence — Holton is close to the Lams to this day.

Photographer Thomas Holton in front of his image, "The Deadpan" featuring Cindy Lam.  Image by Melissa Guerrero

“The Deadpan” featuring Cindy Lum and Thomas Holton | Photo by Melissa Guerrero

Aside from other projects and managing a family of his own, Holton is also a photography professor at The Trinity School. He advises his students to immerse themselves in their work, “I always tell my students to look at your work, grow with your work, live with your work and kind of let it go on like an adventure.”

Photo: Truck vs. Tree on Ludlow Street

Ludlow Street near Hester Street. Photo by Patrick Gaynes.

Ludlow Street near Hester Street. Photo by Patrick Gaynes.

TLD reader Patrick Gaynes came across this scene on Ludlow Street this morning. 

CB3 Panel Rejects Beastie Boys Co-Naming Proposal

Scaffolding Destabilized on Ludlow Street After Truck Accident

Cops Look For Suspects in Ludlow Street Cell Phone Robbery

Video: Man Injured as Banksy Exhibition Removed From Ludlow Street

Earlier this month, a man was hurt as workers removed a Banksy exhibition staged inside a vacant lot at 157 Ludlow St.  Video has now surfaced from that incident.

The Doors Have Come Off Banksy’s Ludlow Street Creation

Ludlow Street today. Photo by John Crommett.

Ludlow Street today. Photo by John Crommett.

Five days after it appeared on the Lower East Side, Banksy’s Ludlow Street installation, is being pretty well picked apart.

Banksy on Ludlow Street: The View From Above

banksy ludlow 1

Photographer Tim Schreier is just back with some nice images from Ludlow Street, where the latest Banksy got noticed a few hours ago. It’s quite a scene on the stretch between Stanton and Rivington streets; a blue tarp was lifted today to reveal the British street artist’s newest work. 

Saying So Long To Motor City Tonight

motor city flyer

















Motor City Puts “Final Nail in the (Ludlow Street) Coffin” June 23


Back in April, EV Grieve brought news of Motor City’s closing night party.  From our in-box this morning, more details:

The once vibrantly creative and bohemian Lower East Side is a thing of the past, with the final nail in the coffin coming next month, when Motor City Bar closes its doors for the last time.  The bar is open over the next few weeks (daily from 4pm to 4am), so make sure you stop by for a few cocktails in the meantime.  On Sunday, June 23rd, come and celebrate 17 years of sex, drugs and rock n roll with some of the best people you’d ever care to meet. Come and give a long kiss goodbye to the amazing owners, bartenders, dancers, DJs, Detroit memorabilia, and those infamous bathrooms!  A big thank you to all those who have lived, loved, laughed, cried, danced, yelled, fallen down, met future partners, found jobs, been inspired, or just generally had a great time in this wonderful establishment these past two decades. To say it will be sorely missed would be an understatement. RIP.  Note: The bar will remain open until midnight on the 30th of June, when the keys are finally handed over.

Looks like it’s shaping up as the summer of Ludlow Street farewells. We might argue that the “final nail” will come in late July when Max Fish shutters, but there’s no doubt Motor City’s farewell is a big moment.


New Neighbor: Press Tea at 168 Ludlow Street

Kenny Shyu and Gary Ye at their newly opened Press Tea.

You won’t find coffee on the menu at Press Tea, the new café that’s currently enjoying a soft opening at 168 Ludlow Street between Stanton and Houston. That silver steam machine behind the bar isn’t for espresso. It’s a specialized tea press, used to concoct the meticulously designed blends of partners Kenny Shyu, Gary Ye and Chris Chang, culinary veterans with no interest in serving what everyone else is brewing. They belong to a rare breed of café owners: those who don’t drink coffee.

Small Fire Draws Heavy FDNY Presence on Stanton Street

Firemen responded to a small fire at 101 Stanton Street this afternoon.

At around 12:30 this afternoon, firetrucks rushed to the corner of Ludlow and Stanton streets after a small fire started in a wall on the bottom floor wall of 101 Stanton Street, occupied by Pimps & Pinups boutique salon. The mini blaze was immediately extinguished, but five FDNY companies turned up to lend a hand. No one was harmed during the incident.

The only apparent casualties: annoyed drivers who got stuck in place on Ludlow Street between Stanton and Houston while the trucks blocked their path. The folks at Pimps & Pinups didn’t seem to mind the incident much; haircuts continued while firemen walked in and out of the salon.

Pioneering Boutique TG-170 Will Close Next Month

TG-170, just after it opened on Broome Street last year.

Terri Gillis opened one of the first boutiques on Ludlow Street in the mid-90’s, helping to make the neighborhood a cutting edge shopping destination.  A little over a year ago Gillis was forced out of her store at 170 Ludlow by escalating rents.  But the move to another space a couple of blocks away (at the corner of Ludlow and Broome streets) was apparently not enough to save a pioneering business.

LES documentarian Clayton Patterson passed along the news that TG-170 is calling it quits (at least for now).  On her Facebook page, Gillis explains:

We will be moving out of our current Broome St address in January. Please visit us not only to say hi but take advantage of the markdowns! Everything in the store is on sale- most items are under $100. Many jeans are now $50, including JBrand. We ♥ you. Keep u posted.

Woman Killed in Stanton Street Apartment

Police are on the scene at 101 Stanton Street, near Ludlow.

We are on the street in front of 101 Stanton St., near the corner with Ludlow, where a woman is apparently dead in an upstairs apartment, according to sources at the scene. Police arrived on the block around 1 p.m., according to witnesses who then saw an older man led out of the building in handcuffs and taken away.

A young teenage boy also emerged from the building, covered in blood, and was taken away by police, said one witness who was drinking coffee on a bench outside of D’Espresso across the street when the sirens erupted.