The heavenly survivors of Hell's Kitchen
All too often, we find ourselves writing about small businesses that have vanished, taking with them an irreplaceable part of a neighborhood. So we thought we'd begin to profile from time to time businesses that are beating the odds, staying alive and helping preserve the character that makes their neighborhood great. When we happened upon Susan Banas' noble project to give Hell's Kitchen shops owners digital cameras and have them photograph (and thus preserve) their world, we were intrigued. This celebration of the soul of a neighborhood deserves mentioning, and reminds us of the little miracles happening all around the city -- shops that defy the odds somehow. Oftentimes, it's just plain circumstance: They own the building or an understanding landlord. But whatever the case, they deserve to be celebrated.
-- Rolando Pujol