True Yorkers is a video series which interviews long-term New York residents about “Old New York” and the way things used to be in the City during a time many refer to as the “Good Ol’ Days”. In this episode, Katz’s Deli owner Alan Dell reflects on what the Lower East Side once was, from when he was a kid growing up in the area.
A lot of people from the neighborhood moved away… I just can’t get used to it. I have customers talking about their million dollar penthouse on Rivington Street—it blows my mind. The Bowery was unsavory, there used to be bums, I don’t even know if kids know what a bum is…You know, they call it progress, I’m not really sure about that. It’s a mixed bag…15-20 years ago we were closing early. Unless you were coming to buy crack late at night over here, it was not safe… it’s just changed. It’s just different.