6. Shoe Row
Shoe Row was an area of 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues that housed many mom and pop shoe stores. This was a bonafide footwear destination with over two dozen shoe stores mostly catering to the younger clientele that began to take off in the 1980’s. However, the local business improvement district initiated a transformation of this area a few years back as a nightlife destination. It wants to attract restaurants and nightclubs to harken back to its roots in the 1960’s as a gateway to the West Village, when coffee shops and bookstores attracted beatniks and hippies. Most of the shoe businesses have left due to rising rents and lack of customers.