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Guss’ Pickles Decamps For Brooklyn

Are there any more decent pickles in Manhattan?

by
Marc Tracy
July 29, 2009
Guss' Pickles(05 Guss' Pickles by Jason Lam; some rights reserved.)

Guss’ Pickles(05 Guss’ Pickles by Jason Lam; some rights reserved.)

Manhattan’s Lower East Side has already lost most vestiges of its history as the teeming neighborhood whose tenements housed many of our ancestors. Yet there is still something depressing about Orchard Street landmark Guss’ Pickles decision to move across the East River to Brooklyn’s heavily ultra-Orthodox Boro Park. The pickle emporium, which opened on nearby Essex Street in 1910 and which still closes on Saturdays, reportedly needed more room and couldn’t afford a bigger rent in the neighborhood. So here we have another ravage to chalk up to gentrification, which has either destroyed what remained of “the old neighborhood” or turned it into an object of commemoration. Still, gentrification also undoubtedly increased the neighborhood’s Jewish population—albeit with Jews of the more secularized, yuppiefied variety—and it’s a shame they can no longer walk down the street and pick up a fresh, sour, briney pickle.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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