6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, photographer Bob Estremera documents the historic buildings and businesses of the Lower East Side. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
When Bob lived briefly on the Lower East Side in 2011, he loved “walking its crumbling sidewalks and admiring it’s equally crumbling architecture.” But the neighborhood’s gentrification was already underway: “Tucked away among the little stores, restaurants, apartments and barber shops, upscale boutique restaurants were making themselves felt with prices and menus that could only be supported from clientele outside the neighborhood,” he describes. So he decided to return to the LES and capture what he feels is the area’s essence. In this resulting black-and-white series, he turns our attention to vestiges of the early days, “the decayed store fronts and once proud architecture and businesses that have vanished and others still clinging barely to life.”