A bit of the Lower East Side strays into Grand Street. And this is the Lower East Side as it is traditionally envisioned – a little rough, depressed financially, slightly more religious. Here there are 99 cent stores a plenty, and buildings appear in shades of grey, washed out brown and brick red.
Ethnically, the tribes occupying this thin sliver of land appear more African and Hispanic. Any link with Chinatown is severed quite abruptly and you don’t get many Chinese or Europeans, for that matter, here.
Scattered amidst the red brick apartment buildings and tenements are a couple of stunning colonial-era buildings, including the beautiful St Mary’s Church and a mansion that’s now the Abron Arts Centre. One street name provides a hint of what Grand Street may have used to be here: a grand orchard.