Man with a newspaper on Rivington Street. Lower East Side, New York City.
There are moments that seem as if they have been transported from an entirely different era right into the heart of today. This is one of them. The gentleman sitting here in his three piece suit and fedora was casually enjoying his newspaper while sitting next to a few closed storefronts on a rather moody, overcast day.
When I first moved to this neighborhood a few years ago, I noted the Botánica which was open for a few hours every day. A few of the neighbors in my apartment building who have lived here on the Lower East Side for decades would frequent the Botánica on a weekly basis. I have noticed that it no longer appears to be open which saddens me. I am unsure if the closure is permanent or merely temporary but I do still wonder where my older neighbors go for their Botánica needs.
A botánica is a retail store that sells folk medicine, religious candles and statuary, amulets, and other products regarded as magical or as alternative medicine. Some botánicas also carry incense, perfumes and oils. While these stores are common in many Hispanic American countries and communities of Latino people elsewhere botánicas can also be found in any United States city that has a sizable Latino/a population, particularly those with ties to the Caribbean.
The name botánica is Spanish and translates as “botany” or “plant” store, referring to these establishments’ function as dispensaries of medicinal herbs. Medicinal herbs may be sold dried or fresh, prepackaged or in bulk. The stores almost always feature a variety of implements endemic to Roman Catholic religious practice such as rosary beads, holy water, and images of saints. In addition, most have products associated with other spiritual practices such as candomblé, curanderismo, espiritismo, macumba and santería. Source
This is my weekly mobile photography post. I am @newyorklens on Instagram (view my feed here). You can read about my thoughts on mobile photography and Instagram here and you can check out some of my Instagram photos on Flickr here. Additionally, you can view my phone photography for sale here.