What’s happening to Canal Street? Is the mecca of shoddy counterfeit merchandise, shitty electronics devices, and watered down cologne undergoing a change? I was walking past this “fashion” store on the corner of Canal and Church St…
…when I noticed these signs posted:
Huh, I thought. OK, so someone cared to shut down one of the approximately hundred stores selling knock off Rolexes and fake designer handbags. But then I was walking down Cortlandt Alley a few blocks East…
…and noticed these signs posted over a store.
My guess is, this store was shut down like the first, and part of the subsequent punishment is to have these signs up. But is there a larger crackdown underway?
Then, on my way back down Canal (btw. Lafayette and Broadway), I noticed that this string of former bootleg stores is being completely renovated. Something tells me we won’t be seeing closet-sized vendors hawking counterfeit sunglasses when they’re finished.
Meanwhile, across the street, more renovations seems to be underway for another line of former bootleg outlets.
Canal Street has certainly been changing in the ten years or so I’ve been in the city. A Starbucks, major banks, and legit establishments have been slowly but surely edging out the bootleggers and thrift joints. Does anyone really care? I certainly don’t. Nothing kills me more than when I hear people say they are going to Chinatown, and what they really mean is Canal Street. Canal Street is not Chinatown – it’s a string of shitty stores that no one but tourists shop in, and I really have no problem if it all gets replaced. If you feel it adds character to the city, please explain why in a comment!
Update! I was just walking past the shut-down shop in the first picture when I saw an elderly Asian woman out front being arrested by a plainclothes cop. There were at least 20 of the dudes who regularly sell bootleg stuff on the street waiting around, and I wonder if they were there to pick up merchandise from her. To be fair, there’s no evidence to prove she was associated with the closed down shop. Also, to clarify, I’m not advocating that Canal Street become a boring strip of Starbucks and Barnes and Nobles. But honestly, just about anything is better than what’s there now.