Friday, February 3, 2012

Urban Etiquette Signage

This week, Capital New York published an article on "The golden era of the noble, ineffectual 'respect our neighbors' sign." I'm glad the author, Sarah Laskow, is bringing attention to the situation, but I need to add my two cents, because urban etiquette signage happens to be a passion (or perhaps obsession) of mine--I've been collecting samples for awhile.


coffee shop

Laskow focuses on the signs outside of drinking establishments, mostly in the East Village, where they do proliferate. But the signs are not limited to bars. You'll find them outside of cafes, dessert shops, and restaurants that are not booze-centric. So we can't just blame drunkenness for people's bad behavior.

She says the signs have "multiplied since New York banned smoking in bars," and traces the origin of the fight against noise and crowding to 2003 when the smoking ban began. The ban definitely increased the problem, but the story is more complex.


noodle shop

Laskow partly blames the increase in signs to an increase in complaining quality-of-lifers. She writes that the East Village "played host to the city’s nightlife aficionados for years, but through the '80s and '90s its residents were paying rents low enough that they could overlook nighttime noise. As rents increased, so did complaints." She quotes one bar owner who says, "When people start paying that sort of money, they expect more from the neighborhood."

But the complainers are not the high-rent newcomers--the most vocal and active complainers are the old-timers, most in rent-controlled and stabilized apartments for decades. And we didn't overlook noise prior to 2003--we remember when the East Village was much quieter and less crowded than the nightmare of screeching it is today.

If anyone is behaving badly and in need of corrective signage, it's the newcomers who are paying those high rents in glossy buildings made for adult dormitory life.


dessert shop, Momofuku Milk Bar

Finally, this whole behavioral problem began before the smoking ban of 2003.

I started noticing urban etiquette signs in the East Village a little more than a decade ago--mostly posted in long-standing mom-and-pop businesses. I wrote this in 2002: "the new signs keep cropping up every day: Absolutely no cell phones; Do not bring your dog in here; If you want to talk on your cell phone, do it outside; No roller blades; No scooters; and the simple, plaintive, Please be nice."

These early examples were the precursors to today's "please respect our neighbors" signs. And as the pleading requests make clear, by the turn of the century, the East Village was being taken over by assholes--people who could not care less about their negative impact on others and on the neighborhood around them. In short: The yunnies came to town.


Fab 208 clothing

In the article, bar owner Sasha Petraske sums it up well when he says, "The idea that the sidewalk in front of an apartment building is public space is a suburban attitude, that has no place in a city."

That brings us back to the larger issue of New York's suburbanization, and the problematic people who bring their small-town visions with them, then force the city to conform. And, of course, as Laskow points out, they don't bother reading the signs.


See and read:
Shut Up Signs
Urban Etiquette Signs
Loudmouth Weather
How to Complain About Noisy Jerks

44 comments:

marc kehoe said...

This has been a growing problem for years now. Who are the culprits?
It seems to be those that pay upwards of 3K a month to live in a slum tenement (now with dishwasher).
(I might call attention to the observance of St Patricks Day here in the neighborhood- a fairly new phenomenon-none of us would have deigned to participate in past years, and now the streets are full of drunks sporting green foam rubber hats, literally spewing everywhere.)
Am I jealous? No, just observant.
What is up when the hallway of your walk up building is repeatedly the repository of empty large Prada boxes?
The EV and the LES have been overrun with the very suburban types that many residents were fleeing when they moved here. No creativity, no integration into the community (or any community-no recognition of community), nothing 'alternative,'and no manners to say the least.
Merely the arrogance of money. Cities change, societies change, but this has been (and apparently will continue to be) the utter destruction of a working class enclave/creativity laboratory in Lower Manhattan. Despicable.

Quiz: Who was Herbert Huncke?
Who was Taras Shevchenko?
Here's a simple one: what do those beaver tiles in the Astor Place subway station symbolize? (Huh? what beavers?)

bethpuzzle said...

I don't know who Huncke and Shevchenko were, but I do know about the beavers. When the subway system was built, its creators wanted signage that was understandable to people who couldn't read English, so they used a lot of imagery. The Astors made their fortune in fur trading, so the subway system used the beaver as a symbol for the Astor Place station.

JamesKInIA said...

Ridiculous statement. Outside of Midtown/FiDi, when are you not in front of an apartment?

2sheepinthecity.com said...

I think the problem is the same people who live in the rent controlled apartments for years are getting old! They want to watch TV at night in peace, and not have their sleep disturbed. When you eat dinner at four in the afternoon, that's a lotta time to kill before bed.

Ed said...

"The complainers are not the high-rent newcomers--the most vocal and active complainers are the old-timers, most in rent-controlled and stabilized apartments for decades. And we didn't overlook noise prior to 2003--we remember when the East Village was much quieter and less crowded than the nightmare of screeching it is today."

Yes, but you are also eight years older. Stuff that you used to tolerate or liked, or even moved to the neighborhood to be closer to, now not so much.

In all honesty, I found this to be a confused post. We are being overrun by these people who have such a suburban mentality that they -wait for it- treat the sidewalk in front of an apartment building as public space? Sidewalks ARE public spaces. I understand this even though I've never lived in the suburbs.

I've not noticed these signs as much, but I think they can be explained by a combination of more people here behaving as jerks, more people being overly thin skinned or sensitive, and the fact that that when people behave like jerks the way to approach it now seems to be to get all passive aggressive about it (though to be fair I tend to take the passive aggressive route too, stress levels in this city are rising, and I can't count on things not getting out of hand if I tried taking the older, more direct approach).

charlie said...

Saw this (old?) sign in Harlem last year

https://picasaweb.google.com/100204288334931210589/HarlemSign?authkey=Gv1sRgCODtm-er4aGKfg#5590967758036440850

Jeremiah Moss said...

Ed, it's true i'm (we're) older and grumpier, and that must factor in, but i don't want to undercut the reality that the EV has turned into a nightmare to live in, thanks to the hordes who scream all night and gather on sidewalks in guffawing packs.

it was not like that until the 2000s--of course there was noise, and crowding, but not like this. not of this level or fashion.

i also blame cell phones, which have altered human behavior and encourage a sociopathic kind of obliviousness to others.

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

Hurbert Huncke was an early Beatnik writer/drug addict who hung out with Jack Kerouac in Times Square. Taras Shevechenko is the patron poet of Ukraine who had been jailed and exiled by the Tsarist Russians, he wrote the the nations anthem, "Ukraine is still now dead..."

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

I meant, "Ukraine is still NOT dead..."

James Campbell Taylor said...

"Cell phones... have altered human behavior and encourage a sociopathic kind of obliviousness to others." Dead on.

But I think this argument goes both ways. Yes, downtown Manhattan is overrun with would-be suburbanites who've never tasted an egg cream, but at the same time I feel people in general are far quicker to take offense and/or to complain than they used to.

I blame a combination of political correctness run amok and a pervading culture of instant (self-)gratification.

Little Earthquake said...

I was a little confused by this post, too. Are the newcomers/suburbanites the ones complaining about New York being noisy, or making it noisier?

I've always considered street noise a hazard of living in the city. Though you can make a case that cell phones and outdoor beer gardens and the like, and the smoking ban, have increased local noise pollution.

I lived on busy Smith St. in Brooklyn for a few years, where my building was the only one on the block with a stoop. Naturally, people liked to hang out and talk there. It didn't bother me; I consider it part of living in NYC. The only thing I didn't like was when people left behind chicken wing bones, empty cigarette packs, beer bottles, and other litter. I've no data for this but my guess is that 80% of the trash came from native New Yorkers.

Be that as it may, I agree with Ed (and conventional wisdom) that sidewalks are public spaces. This isn't a notion imported from suburbia. But that doesn't mean people can do whatever they want. There has to be a balance.

By the way, I'll bet the EV had worse noise and crowding circa 1905. No cell phones but plenty of dead horses!

Jeremiah Moss said...

i think my post is confusing because it's not very well written. i had some trouble getting it right, then i just said, eh, post the thing. so, apologies for my hastiness. such is blogging.

esquared said...

And the suburbanization is worse on the weekends. Overheard just this past weekend [excited to see it] "That's one big ass Starbucks, huh?" (referring to the one in Astor Place).

Also, back in the days (can't believe I'm saying that), there weren't that many bars in the EV. And they were sparsely located in the neighborhood. Not like today, where a whole block and radius are concentrated and saturated with bars.

And it's not just St. Patrick's Day that's a problem today. Nowadays, seems like there's always a bar hop of some sort -- from Santacon to Zombiecon, to no pajamas bar hop, to ugly sweaters bar hop...anything for an excuse for that kind of debauchery.

In addition, the irony of the newcomers complaining about the noise is that most of them most likely moved to the neighborhood because of its "lively" nightlife. The old-timers had no choice, they did not land on this Plymouth Rock of bars, it landed on them.

They don't bother reading the signs, because they are too drunk to read the signs,. That or they think (if they think at all) it does not pertain to them, hence the narcissist in the yunnies.

Anonymous said...

Um, Sidewalks are public spaces. And to be honest, I don't think it is any noisier than it used to be.

esquared said...

Yes, the sidewalks are public use, but the suburban types are using the sidewalks as their own private space when: walking on a very narrow sidewalk 3-4 people wide; waiting for a table or spot to brunch/dinner/whatnot; consuming that cupcake/froyo/whatever on the sidewalk thinking it's an extension of the establishment. Thus, preventing the public to use the sidewalk.

But the stoops in front of the apartment building are definitely private.

Brendan said...

I never hang out in the East Village on a weekend night if I can avoid it because I find it intolerable. No disagreement there.

But for the life of me I cannot figure out what is "suburban" about any of this. In a suburb, if you are loud in front of someone's house, they will call the cops and the cops will respond. The idea that everyone is entitled to a little personal island of quiet, including some public space (the sidewalk in front of your house) is the suburban ideal. It's what people leave cities and move to suburbs for.

A few years ago someone wrote an article about which areas had the most noise complaints. The winner was Manhattan Community Board 12, which is Washington Heights and Inwood. These areas are more or less yunnie-free. What they are is very dense, which is to say urban.

If you want quiet, there are plenty of neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens where you can hear a pin drop at night. These neighborhoods are suburban in character.

In fact MANY of the things you associate with "suburbanization," like "artisanal" restaurants, annoying retro cocktail bars, and luxury high-rises, are found ONLY in large cities and never in suburbs. That doesn't mean these things don't suck, but the analysis is off.

Little Earthquake said...

Brendan, well said. That's what I was thinking. When I visit my parents in Big Wisco (ha), I'm always a little creeped out by the lack of noise when I try to sleep. Sounds weird but I need a white noise machine. I live kitty-corner to a busy bar on Court Street (Bklyn), and there are people sitting outside until around midnight drinking and talking. I'm far enough that it sounds like white noise to me....but I don't mind it. Not sure what I would think if I lived in the apartment above. But that's Carroll Gardens; I don't have any EV experience.

My guess would be that the article is correct - that the high-rent-payers with kids are expecting NYC to be quiet like Peoria and Oshkosh. Sort of like the tempest in a teapot that is the rat "problem" in Tompkins Square Park. But overall I think asserting that "things were quieter in the old days" is a faulty generalization. But I will grant you that public etiquette is not what it was. If people think wearing sweatpants in public is acceptable, then they probably flout a lot of social standards including noise etiquette.

Anonymous said...

Lots of obtuse yunnies on this thread who sadly miss the point of Jeremiah's great post.

Jeremiah Moss said...

the East Village WAS quieter 10, 15, 20 years ago. it's not a middle-aged delusion. ask anyone who has lived here for that long, or longer. take a look at the rising numbers on the proliferation of bars. walk the streets on a weekend night.

compared to today, the East Village streets of the mere 1990s were desolate.

why people want to cling to the fantasy that the EV has always been Party Zone Central i don't understand. what's the investment in that belief?

Nathan said...

It's possible that if you were to measure the total decibels of sound produced in a seven day period in the East Village today and then compare it to the same metric 10, 20, or 30 years ago, you might find that it's the same. However, I think several characteristics of noise have changed: the demographics of the people making the noise, the cause of the noise, and the time when the noise is being made.

1. Demographics: for better or for worse, I think that most of us who read this blog are going to be much more annoyed by NYU students loudly proclaiming that OH MY GOD THIS IS LIKE THE MOST AMAZING CUPCAKE I'VE EVER EATEN than by a group of old Italian-American (or Puerto Rican, or African American, etc.) guys standing around shooting the sh*t on a stoop.

2. Cause: There is a lot more noise coming from really intoxicated people, from people talking on cell phones, or from people who are waiting to get into restaurants/bars/food shops or standing outside after patronizing these places. The cell phone noise is annoying because it's far more distracting and irritating listening to half of a conversation rather than a full conversation, and because I think people tend to over-emote to make up for the inability to convey part of their message through non-verbal cues and tend to talk louder because cell phone reception is less reliable. The restaurant/bar noise is particularly annoying because it's clustered in one place, so you can be enjoying a quiet street and suddenly there are 20 people talking about how THIS WAS THE BEST FOOD EVER AND OH MY GOD WE HAVE TO GET TOGETHER AGAIN SOON!!

3. Timing: Because much of the noise is linked to nightlife, it starts to ramp up around 8 or 9 pm and builds until 2-4 am and then trails off, and is particularly bad on Thursday-Saturday nights. In other words, it makes most of the neighborhood unlivable for concentrated periods of time. So while streets were probably louder in 1905 at 3:00 pm than they are now, they are incomparably louder now at 3am on a Saturday night.

What much of this comes back to, of course, is that with rising rents, it is increasingly difficult for any business to make money unless they are selling liquor...and landlords realizing that bars/high-end restaurants with liquor can pay 3x what any other business can pay, which leads to an increasing concentration of bars.

Not sure if I'm saying anything that original here, but I'm trying to show that the particular noise situation in the east village is particularly detrimental to quality of life.

everettsville said...

Jeremiah, you're grappling with something significant on this post -and I hear you- but it's almost as if the subject is just too broad, too complex and too global to put into one post.

I felt myself wanting to hear more about the smoking ban...which is a kind of suburbanism. In my experience, the smoking ban was the turning point. It made bars and restaurants less "yucky" and all kinds of security-seeking suburban types filled the barstools that the quietly brooding chain-smokers vacated.

(The friend that I'd argued with at the time about the impending ban was recently discussing plans to take part in the No-Pants Subway Ride...

...so there you go).

In the past you've pointed to 9-11 as the beginning of the end, and I think there's something to that, but I feel that the smoking ban and the Bloomberg era really changed the nightlife, particularly the music scene, in Lower Manhattan. It was like a one-two punch.

everettsville said...

Charlie, I like how NO HAIR BRAIDING is on the list along with NO DRUGS!

Hair-braiding...God forbid!

Goggla said...

"...bar owner Sasha Petraske sums it up well when he says, 'The idea that the sidewalk in front of an apartment building is public space is a suburban attitude, that has no place in a city.'"

I have to disagree. I grew up in the suburbs. People do most of their socializing indoors or in the yard. Growing up, when I thought of NYC (or any big city), I thought of stoop-dwellers hanging out and talking. That's something I looked forward to doing when I moved here. And, as apartments are usually too small for much gathering, don't most people socialize outside?

And, I'm getting tired of blaming the smoking ban for all the increased noise. Is this to say no one ever made noise on the sidewalk until then? Are smokers to blame for all this? I think not (and no, I'm not a smoker).

I think a lot of it has to do with the invention of cell phones - there's a lot more chatting going on outside and it's not confined to a phone booth. There has also been a big increase in rudeness, as well as many more people streaming into this area.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Petraske likens it to driveways in the rest of the quote. but, yeah, it doesn't make sense, as i think about it more. though there's something about the sidewalk now being like a suburban shopping mall promenade.

Ed said...

Implied in the expansion of NYU is that many if not most of the blocks between 2nd Avenue and 6th Avenue, and going somewhere uptown of Bleeker Street, increasingly resemble some sort of college town in the Midwest, where the state university is located. That must be disconcerting to long time residents.

But I think many people are dancing around why they don't like the change. Its the old story of the demographics of neighborhoods changing, with regardless of the wishes of long time residents.

Shawn Chittle said...

Thanks Jeremiah for an awesome post.

I didn't find it confusing.

The message is simple: when people who pay high rents want to party/eat brunch they do, but don't pay any attention to the same demographic of people who aren't partying/eating brunch at that point and want it quiet.

"I'll be loud and block the sidewalk, but if I'm not being loud or blocking the sidewalk, don't you do it."

I live above Westville and we have an urban etiquette sign, which I dutifully point to when people are standing in front of my door as my hands are full and I can't even get in my apartment.

But often I'm just fed up and plow through these people.

It gives them something to tweet about and gives their life meaning.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks Chittle. and i'm so sorry you live above Westville.

everettsville said...

Goggla @ 1:44pm

"I'm getting tired of blaming the smoking ban for all the increased noise"

Not sure if you had my above comment in mind, but it looks like I kinda veered off topic in my thoughts on the smoking ban.

Sorry, I wasn't thinking about noise levels (which I now see really was the topic of the post!), I was thinking more about this city's overall social transformation (the general complaint of this blog; yunnies, un-urban behaviors, SATC girls, etc.) having been aided & quickened by making all NYC bars safe for the kind of people who may have avoided downtown NYC bars as places that were too dirty and full of 'gross' poets and rockers.

But not to derail the thread by digging deeper, I just wanted to clarify.

Anonymous said...

Right on about general rudeness, including gratuitous noise.

However: the sidewalks are public space. What other public space is there? The few sorry "squares" which close at night anyway?

It's a urban (and small town), but not suburban, attitude to treat sidewalks as public space, and this is as it should be. Get to know your neighbors, socialize, people-watch. However, be considerate.

As for noise, I don't mind the human noise so much. It's the endless sirens, car alarms, motorcycles, and car horns, especially on weekend nights, which are intolerable.

Shevchenko was Ukraine's most famous poet, and a cultural icon. New Order named their concert video after him because their first New York concert was at the Ukrainian National Home.

- East Village Slav

Anonymous said...

To all of you who thin the East Village "was not like this" until 2000(ish), not sure where the hell you came from but the East Village has been full of hottin n hollerin suburbanites and variou sother bridge 'n'tunnelers and slummers since at least the 80s. Of course back then, it was much cheaper. What hasn't changed is folks complaining when they get older. That remains the same. Was then, is now.

lucille said...

I guess this falls under "everyone's got an opinion," but really, this is the effect of the smoking ban. Before the ban, the "going out with friends" experience stayed in the bar. You'd get noise from people once when they went in, once when they left.

Now, going out is partially indoors, but can be up to half outdoors, smoking, talking to a smoker, talking after smoking and before you need another drink, etc. Does no one remember residents throwing buckets of water out their windows on the heads of bar crowds because them being outside the bar all night was NEW?In the two months after the ban, this was constant, because the noise was sudden and drastic.

I live in a quieter neighborhood now, but I remember leaving Brownies and saying goodbyes however boisterously because everyone was deaf from the band, and then LEAVING. Or if you wanted, going INSIDE another bar and staying in there.

Cell phones can be annoying, but they're nothing compared to enforced indoor/outdoor socializing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the EV then was as loud as it is now, aurally. But theses suburbanites in the EV now are obnoxious and rude, so their presence is loud.

Crazy Eddie said...

As a lifer here, two major changes. As previously noted, cell phone narcissism. The other. also noted, the herd migrations. The cell phone situation is urban/ suburban, not unique to either. Going out in herds, that is something new. When I went out, I went out with a date , went out with another couple or went out with a wingman. Harldy ever went out in a huge group. This is definitely suburban type behavior. Also, Frat boys going out in groups of 8-10. Yeah, you guys are going to score. Like Beavis and Butt-head.

Anonymous said...

My doctor's office has a sign: No rollerblades.
(!)

Anonymous said...

While the smoking ban and cell phones are certainly an issue, there are just a LOT more people than there used to be, especially on Th-Fr-Sat nights when they drive in. While the EV has been a center of nightlife for a long time, it is just insane out there now - it reminds me of the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, and not in a good way (as in, why would human beings even bother to live in such an environment?) Ave A is jam packed with cars on these nights - as a bike commuter, even I have a hard time getting through it (perhaps, like the Little Wisco folks, this lot have brought with them things that remind them of home - in this case, a slice of their beloved L.I.E.)

Anonymous said...

I've been living in the EV for ten years now, and not just in the EV, but on St. Mark's Place, where on 3am on a weekend it often sounds like a pack of wolves is fighting a family of baboons over leftover Pizza.

I don't know if after a decade I'm still gentrifying yuppie asshole scum or if I'm an old timer now. I know the guys at the deli, many waiters, barkeeps, coffee shop regulars, some of the crazies, a few of the crusties, but I pay almost $3000 for my apartment because unlike many old timers I don't have an illegally obtained rent controlled lease (a lease that's forcing the landlord to rent the retail space out to an asshole-oriented bar to pay his taxes). At least it's a good apartment.

In any event, I think the following is true:

1. The EV has not become more noisy over the past 10 years with the exception of the smoking ban impact on some blocks. If it bothers you then you can use ear plugs or move. I'm sure it's become more noisy over the past 20 years because 20 years ago it was more dangerous and desolate than any neighborhood in the entire city is today.

2. I think Jeremiah is confusing the people who come here on weekends, and the business that largely cater to those people, the people who have come to live in condorms and who have nothing to do with the neighborhood (but then also aren't making noise or causing other trouble), and people who have come here because they like the neighborhood for what it is.

3. It's a natural process that a neighborhood becomes hip/cool, then those people start coming in on weekend, then businesses are created to serve them while the local complain, and eventually there's a new cool place to be. If you remember SoHo in the mid 90s, then the LES, now Williamsburg... this means some unpleasantness one or two nights a week in exchange for thriving businesses and safe streets. This is what cities and neighborhoods are like all over the world. It's okay if you don't like it, but you're just going to have to deal with it.

James Campbell Taylor said...

The going out in herds thing is a terrifying phenomenon, and a major reason why I left my native UK (where believe it or not people are drunker and louder). I call them "The Great Untucked Brigade".

Anonymous said...

I spent my middle- and highschool years in a suburb. There were no sidewalks in my neighborhood, and people didn't socialize. It was located across the road from a trailer park, and when we moved there from liberal hippy college town an hour and a half away, someone left bullet shells in our yard to let us know exactly what they thought of us. Of course, this was a burned-out, working class suburb of Milwaukee where most folks worked factory jobs or did low-paid office work. Sidewalks, and most of what you would consider "suburban", were for other (read: rich) people.

While I sympethize with your frustration and anger over what NYC/the EV has become since the 80's - we're experiencing something similar out here, too, though obviously not on such a massive and disorienting scale - I think there are a lot of assumptions being made here which are false and misleading. The problem is NOT where people come from geographically, whether it's The Suburbs or Middle America. It's where they come from in terms of class; it's about money. The homogenizers are people from upper middle-class or weathly families, brought up in privileged environments of various kinds, who as a result feel a massive sense of entitlement that they're mostly not even aware of. The rich have always had that, but changes in our culture over the last thirty years (the whole "greed is good" mentality) have made it significantly worse. Your average poor or working-class kid from a shitty suburb or deserted rustbelt city or broke-ass farm town is really not your problem. Those kids, when they plan their big getaway, dream of having adventures. They don't dream of making over their new environment in the image of the old.

Sorry for the lengthy comment, but I've been sitting on this for awhile and felt it needed to be said. Something else that needs to be said: where I live, we already have a bar called The Wisco. It's a dive bar located in a hundred-year-old house with a sandpit volleyball thinger out back. It used to be a biker bar. To my knowledge, they don't serve cheese curds there, and the beer has been described to me as "chunky". So that Little Wisco place? It can go eff itself.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Eddie:

"Going out in herds, that is something new. When I went out, I went out with a date , went out with another couple or went out with a wingman. Harldy ever went out in a huge group. This is definitely suburban type behavior."

You can't be serious. New Yorkers have always gone out in groups. If anything, this is more characteristic of NYC than suburban life. People in suburbs drive, because suburbs are not designed to walk around in. NYers have also always congregated on and around stoops - go look in the areas where "yunnies" don't frequent - like Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Washington Heights or anywhere in the Bronx. You will see people sitting on stoops. Look at old photographs.

What I would like to know is how exactly one can tell the place of origin of people who walk 4 wide across the sidewalk, yakking loudly on their cellphones, chomping artisinally baked cupcakes, eating at subway, Ihop or 7Eleven, or throwing up in the street, because I have heard quite a few of them speaking with NY accents as well. I completely agree that these things are obnoxious, but let's not pretend they are only a problem because of some tinfoil hat suburban invasion of the East Village.

laura said...

i lived in the EV in 1968-1970. st. marks was noisy, tey had the balloon farm. 2nd ave. fillmore was noisy. mostly weekends. that was it. rest was quiet. i think fillmore was the only big attraction. before that it was almost a tomb.

laura said...

no nathan, 44 yrs ago we never heard "OMG THIS IS THE BEST CUPCAKE". my corner (2nd&5th) had "hebrew national deli". (a quiet corner). i read (JVNY) that corner (40+yrs later) became a noisy club which was shut down. but what i did hear on weekends those days was "MAN GRATEFUL DEAD WAS SO GROOVY, IM HALLUCINATING" (from long island no doute). college boys slumming on the weekends @the filmore east. i dont think they stayed in the EV after the concert was over. there werent any bars for "them".

Jeremiah Moss said...

i like the term "yunnie" because it's not specific to class or geographic origin, or to what someone does for a living. it's about a personality type, a psychological character structure.

the EV has become saturated with yunnies, beginning in earnest with the 2000s. they are like locusts, swarming and devouring.

these signs didn't come out of nowhere--they were/are a response to a changing demographic in the neighborhood, and in much of the city. we didn't need these signs in, say, 1997 because we didn't have high levels of these narcissistic behaviors, like we have now.

that's really the point i am trying to make here.

laura said...

its this simple: when an area commercially zoned this is what you get. as i said in my earlier post, there were only 2 small sections where there were club ventures i the late 60s. i know the avenue streets were always for commerical zoning. i am not sure about the side streets & if there are rules? maybe @ one time they did not bother w/rules as no one would build a club on these streets. also if it IS legal t have a bar, then isnt there a cut off point for noise? or closing time? i would check this out. it is NYU which has made this mess. once all the kids are there, more kids come in on weekends. stoop sitting is not surburban, its urban. what if the kids were dominican, would that be all right? i see this as one big college town, plus a club & bar area. not a place i would want to live. "J"- college kids were ALWAYS narcissistic, same w/high school kids. modern kids stay that way longer way past their late 20s. & many adults have arrested development. our culture is childish. we need to have "signs" telling people where to put the garbage, where not to sit etc. @one time you saw these signs maybe in a public park. now elderly people travel, get drunk on cruise ship tours, & act like college kids. if they behave this way what kind of message does it send to the family? as for culture shifts, try this one out for size: my grandfather moved to 521 grand st. in 1902 or so. he was 17 yrs old & arrived w/his 2 brothers. they moved to grand as it was some kind of a boarding house. he worked @the navy yard, learned basic english & went to temple on weekends.

Isabel said...

"i like the term "yunnie" because it's not specific to class or geographic origin, or to what someone does for a living. it's about a personality type, a psychological character structure. "

Okay I know this is an old post but I have to comment. How is class not part of this? As someone even pointed out on the thread before your comment, these are not lower middle or working class people paying 3000. for their tiny walk-ups, demanding the neighborhood remake itself for their tastes and convenience, and exuding obliviousness and unearned entitlement.