I first visited the Bowery ten years ago while volunteering at the Bowery Mission. In those years, the neighborhood has changed dramatically. Although the industrial restaurant supply shops remain, many have been replaced by high end food establishments, boutiques, and expensive housing. However, the Bowery is still a cross-section, not only of different ethnicities and economic backgrounds, but of tradition and progress. As we walked with Pete Armstrong around his hood, we tasted this variety that energizes the community:
We stopped by Gimme Coffee for a pick-me-up. Pete said hello to a Chinese couple that has lived in the neighborhood for a long time. They were his old neighbors in his father-in-law’s apartment building on Mott Street. Chinatown is southwest of the Bowery, thus many Chinese families live in this part of town.
At the Elizabeth Street garden, Pete talked to a woman he had met at a Community Board 2 event. Neither of them wanted the garden, a 30 year-old fixture that brought the community together, to be replaced by a residential building. She asked about Dwell church; he said, “It’s a Protestant church,” and gave her the address and time.
He talked about the friendship he formed with Broadway actress Melissa Errico and her children through Bowery Babes, an organization she founded. Melissa is married to former tennis star Pat McEnroe.
Dwell meets on Bond Street, in the heart of the Bowery, where the homeless and hedge fund managers converge. Pete’s desire is for the church to occupy that space in the center of the cross-section, where people from all walks of life will come to know Christ and “live out the good news of Jesus Christ.”
You can partner with Pete and Dwell Church and help them reach their goal of $5,000. 100% of your gift goes to this project.