184999_A_48 From “The Ruins of the Borscht Belt” exhibit. Photo by Marisa Scheinfeld

On August 11th, the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC) will take a stroll down nostalgia lane with Marisa Scheinfeld’s “The Ruins of the Borscht Belt” exhibition. This showing of abandoned photography recalls the golden age of The Borsch Belt, a vacation destination area in the Catskills that was popular in the Jewish-American community from the 1920s to the 1970s. Untapped Cities previously covered the abandoned Grossinger’s Resort, a Catskills hotel so grand, it had its own zip code and air strip. The resort was also the the first to use artificial snow and served as the inspiration behind Dirty Dancing.

The once glorious summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in the parts of Sullivan, Orange and Ulster are now in ruins. Hotel occupancy rates declined during the 1960’s when cheap air travel to worldly destinations became readily available to a new generation. By 1986, Grossinger’s Resort, which once boasted 150,000 visitors per year, abandoned its operations. Even the “Waldorf in the Catskills” could not keep up with the changing times. The iconic resort, The Concord, which was still in use in the 1990’s, has been demolished.

Now, New Yorkers will be able to relive the Catskills’ glamorous past through the lens of photographer Marisa Scheinfeld. Here are a sampling of photographs that will be on display at the exhibit, shared with Untapped Cities by the photographer.

86636_045 Photo by Marisa Scheinfeld 

86655_001Photo by Marisa Scheinfeld

For more information on the event, click here. Admission is free, but guests can also provide a $5 donation on LESJC’s website.

Marisa Scheinfeld is an artist whose work has been exhibited in New York, Washington, DC, California, Kansas and London, UK. Her work is highly motivated by her interest in the ruin, or site, and the histories embedded within them. Read more about the Catskills ruins from this in-depth photo essay on the abandoned Grossinger’s Resort.

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