IT’S A TRUST-FUND-HIPSTER PARADISE NOW, but the Lower East Side used to be the bowels of Manhattan 20 years ago. Growing up in NYC, I’ve watched its evolution first hand, transforming from run-down studios for the seriously creative-but-poor (the sort of setup where the bathtub was in the kitchen), to micro-lofts for new money bankers who can afford the $3000+ monthly rent. If only that gluten-free-vegan bakery could appreciate the rat-infested tenement it used to be…

The stories shared in this video footage, put together by Corey Shaff, shows a very diverse, artistic, and unique side of NYC your parents likely would have avoided on their way to see the Statue of Liberty.