I'm hoping to find a New York neighborhood that some 20 years ago was very bad (run down, crack houses, gang trouble) but has improved somewhat since - as a whole or partially.
In this story someone from Japan (now living in New Jersey) goes on a shopping trip to NY city and plans to stop by a small specialist camera shop in (neighborhood). Her boyfriend freaks out because he lived there (in very bad conditions) for the first few years of his life and in his memory/perception it's a dark pit of hell where she really shouldn't venture.
It would be okay if the camera shop is on a side of the area that was better than the rest of it. She doesn't specify a street or anything, so if she says '
Any help? Thanks in advance.
[edit: thanks everybody! You're such a wonderfull source for information that 'everybody knows' but the net doesn't. I'm going to go with Lower East Side - Alphabet City, because it has to still be a kind of run-down place. The boyfriend is not wrong that she's taking a risk (being small, tourist-looking and carrying some very expensive camera equipment) but it's no longer the place it's in his head. ]