Born and raised on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Francisco Gonzalez knows New York City’s storefronts are sacred — bodegas, barbershops, beauty salons, 24-hour laundromats, legendary holes in the wall and proverbial eyes on the street. But he also knows that New York City’s storefronts are under threat of losing the deep community ties that are a large part of what makes them so sacred.

Since 2001, Gonzalez has worked as a real estate broker for commercial spaces as well as residential in his neighborhood, also known as Alphabet City, the East Village, or as he knows it best, Loisaida — the name bestowed upon it by Puerto Rican poets and activists in the 1970s.

(Photo by: Oscar Perry Abello) Born and raised on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Francisco Gonzalez knows New York City’s storefronts are sacred — bodegas, barbershops, beauty salons, 24-hour laundromats, legendary holes in the wall and proverbial eyes on the street. But he also knows that New York City’s storefronts […]

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