These buildings interest me. Look at them. A couple of narrow, two-and-a-half-story brick boys with single dormer windows. The way they lean on each other, sloping toward the middle, tells of great age and little upkeep. They must be one hundred years old at least. Building of such modest proportions haven't been erected in Manhattan in a century.
This being mysterious Chinatown—the addresses are 298 and 300 Grand Street—I uncovered little about the addresses, aside from the usual reports of arrests of various shady citizens who once lived in the houses over the years. What can have happened here? One can only wonder.
UPDATE: A reader alerted me to a post on Manhattan Unlocked from earlier this year that featured this photo. The photo is from 1932, and the post indicates that the buildings were already 100 years old by then. So they're almost two centuries old now. Amazing. As you can see, the buildings haven't changed much (even the drainpipe down the middle is the same), just then they contained Jewish businesses and today they have Chinese businesses. No doubt before that they were Irish businesses. And way back in the misty past they functioned as modest homes.