LOWER EAST SIDE — Local artists have paired up with several longtime businesses along Clinton Street for the first-ever “LES Love Mob” on Thursday, which aims to "explore the history of the Lower East Side through commerce and culture."
The event kicks off with an artist-led walking tour between Houston and Delancey streets, a once-thriving retail corridor that now has a commercial vacancy rate of about 20 percent, according to organizers.
Each stop on the tour will include site-specific art pieces that touch on the history of each business — like an interactive cake walk, similar to musical chairs, outside Santo Domingo Bakery — said Anna Adler and Patrick Jaojoco from Fourth Arts Block, one of three local groups organizing the event.
“Some artists will have a more literal way to interpreting the history while others will have a more abstract form,” Jaojoco said.
Scheduled stops include longtime mom-and-pop shops like Cibao Restaurant, Socrates Hair Design, Vida Natural Health Food Store and East Village Wine and Liquor, they said.
Following the tour, a storytelling event will take place at Barramundi, a bar at 67 Clinton St., where featured speakers and members of the public will share their personal histories of the area and discuss how it has changed over the years.
The walking tour and storytelling event are meant to highlight some of Clinton Street’s longest-running local businesses, said Yanni Deconescu, a program coordinator at Good Old Lower East Side, which co-organized the event with Fourth Arts Block and the Association of Latino Business Owners and Residents.
The collaborative event was part of the GOLES and ALBOR’s efforts to bring a “diverse retail mix” to the area through the Clinton Street Business Attraction Program, which has been funded by a grant from the Department of Small Business Services, Deconescu said.
The LES Love Mob starts at 6:30 p.m. at Barramundi, located at 67 Clinton St. Click here for more information.