Stefanie Lindahl sends in a rare video made by her husband, Corey Shaff, of art gallery space 2B. It occupied an abandoned gas station on Avenue B and 2nd from 1986 - 1995, when it was evicted to make way for a condo building with a Duane Reade.
Stefanie writes, "2B was a place to hang out and make things. The video was a thing made by Corey as he hung out there at a time that simply happened to coincide with the extinction/extinguishment of the place. Parnassus Lost!
2B was easy to access via a large gate on Avenue B but foreboding enough, evidently, to keep most people who ultimately did not get to experience the casual, relaxed buzz of creativity inside. It was also a place for the 'crusties' of the East Village early nineties to apprentice in smithing, among other things. Although the place seemed to be an abandoned gas station, rent was paid. It nonetheless felt like a place for a squatting guild of artisans. It was homelessly homey. It was one Manhattan holdout for those who had already started forming the artistic diaspora to Williamsburg."
2B from Corey Shaff on Vimeo.
"Besides previously working with the photographer Robert Frank, another East Village denizen, Corey also chronicled a slice of Ludlow Street of that era, as well as the defunct Amato Opera House on the Bowery for PBS. I remember how Corey wanted to juxtapose the Bowery 'bums' with the goings on within the opera house, but PBS nixed the idea as 'too scary,' so he had to cut out the footage.
2B was just such a 'scary' unedited piece of the city that got nixed by the ensuing hyper-gentrification that you so often allude to. Another place of authenticity deemed dangerous and unprofitable in the growing inauthenticity of the city."