I was stunned to walk down E. Houston the other day and find a luxury boutique hotel at the corner of Eldridge. It calls itself the Hotel East Houston and it lives its sleek existence inside of a renovated five-story tenement.
I remember when this particular address was an outrageously garish pet shop. There was a multi-colored mural on the Eldridge Street side of the building, depicting parrots and other jungle beasts. It wasn't exactly beautiful, but it livened up a drab stretch of street.
You can now stay in a "Stanton Full" for $279 or an "Orchard Elite" for $299. The rooms looks small, and the design seems kinda faux swank, like it could very possibly turn shabby in just a few years. There's also a roof deck, where, not too long ago, immigrant laborers probably fled to escape the summer heat on the street. Times change.