Monday, July 31, 2017

Before We Got Starfucked

Jen Fisher runs a well-loved book table on the sidewalk at St. Mark's and Avenue A. Tomorrow, the table will become a memorial exhibit called "Before we got Starfucked: A Memorial for the Lower East Side before it became the East Village."



Jen and the resident artist Ana Marton describe it as:

"A personal archive of a LES resident from the late 80s to early 90s of photographs, newspaper cuts, flyers and B&W Xerox books will be displayed on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 from 530-8PM outside, on the corner of Ave A and St. Mark's Place, where the bookstall usually is.

The archive is based on 80s and 90s events such as The Tent City in Tompkins Square Park, the annual Stations of the Cross, Father George Kuhn, and the fight against gentrification as it was recorded and put together by a resident of the Lower East Side. Seen in the light of today's ongoing destruction of our neighborhood, we believe that this archive has acquired historical relevance as a record of the Lower East Side and the life it once contained."

7 comments:

Scout said...

Wait - is she saying that the Easy Village wasn't "The East Village" in her day - the late 80s/early 90s? Because I lived there from 1980 to 1989, and it was "The East Village" even then. I think the last traces of real bohemianism vanished around 1987, and it was pretty much primarily a hipster/trust fund kid/NYU hangout by then.

shimmerstwo said...

When I lived on 10th and 2nd ave St Marks was the East Village
Houston and Bowery is where the lower East Side started
I think THESE 2 either have sun stroke from standing on the corner or are trying to get some publicity for something which they have succeeded at doing if that was their aim

Jeremiah Moss said...

The East Village was not always the East Village. The neighborhood east of Bowery and bookended by Houston Street and 14th was simply the northernmost section of the Lower East Side until the early 1960s, when it was carved out and renamed to sound more like its fancier neighbor to the west. The New York Times dates the origin of “East Village” to 1964. In that year, the guidebook Earl Wilson’s New York reported: “artists, poets and promoters of coffeehouses from Greenwich Village are trying to remelt the neighborhood under the high-sounding name of ‘East Village.’” Beatniks, following the likes of Allen Ginsberg, had moved east years earlier, pushed out of Greenwich Village by rising rents after World War II. Willem de Kooning and other Abstract Expressionist painters came in the early 1950s, followed by galleries. The real estate industry, smelling a trail of money flowing eastward from the Village proper, took the name “East Village” and ran with it in those first days of proto-gentrification.

https://longreads.com/2017/07/24/mourning-the-low-rent-weirdo-filled-east-village-of-old/

James said...

The "East Village" was also the part of the Lower East Side (or the East Side) that featured the Yiddish Theater (genesis of much of Broadway) in theaters up and down Second Avenue, feeding into Grand Street, among other thoroughfares. The remnants of that included more recent places like The Kiev (closed 11 years ago) and the 2nd Avenue Deli (since moved to Murray Hill). One of the Ratner's dairy restaurants was there too.

Jacob said...

A lot of people still call the East Village (Houston to 14th east of 3rd Avenue), the Lower East Side. And it's not just older locals. Just about everyone who lives in the projects (Lilian Wald, Jacob Riis, Baruch) that run along Avenue D from 14th on down still call the neighborhood the Lower East Side. There are political implications to the neighborhood's nomenclature. As far as I'm concerned it Lower East Side 4evah.

SadEnding said...

The Lower East Side isn't the Lower East Side and hasn't been in decades. The "East Village,"to my mind, never existed. So all the tears about a Starbucks seems silly, as we've seen far worse over the years. Whatever you thought the East Village was or is supposed to be.. .nope. Never was and ain't.

Scout said...

Yes, it may be true that the East Village got its current nickname relatively late in the game (50+ years ago), but why not explore its FULL history?

The first humans there were Native Americans (for centuries);
Then it was farmland owned by wealth Dutch patroons (including Peter Stuyvesant);
Then it was briefly (roughly 1800-1840) upper-middle-class brownstones;
Then the Germans moved in, housed in newfangled "apartment buildings;"
Then Poles and Ukrainians took over;
Then the neighborhood expanded a bit to the east, thanks to landfill, past its original boundary of Avenue D/the river, and the projects went up;
Then the bohemian artists came in the 50s and 60s;
Then the poseurs came in the late 70s/early 80s (my era);
Then the full-fledged bourgeoisie came in the mid 80s, and they've been there since.

So, those of you who came in the 90s or later (I lived there from 1980-1989 on Avenues A and D) - which of the above periods would you like to return to? And how will you accomplish that?