Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vintage EV

Ever since I first met Al he's regularly been telling me stories about the East Village. How it was way back then in the late 70s and early 80s, when it was saturated with criminals and the down and out, and how he paid something like 50 bucks a month for his first place - a cockroach infested storefront he had to fix up himself.

Truth be told, Al has told me so many outrageous stories over the years, that I've probably dismissed one or two of them as clever fabrication. Except then every once in a while he'll show you some artifact or a photo or something, and then you realize, there really is fancy Argentinian wine hidden away in the basement! Or, oh, many corpses were disposed of at the other side of the street....

When my friend Kane sent me a link to this blog featuring images of the East Village circa 1986-1988 from a certain 'East Village Rat's' Flickr stream, I thought to myself, hey, Al probably hasn't even exaggerated all that much after all. I bet the neighborhood was every bit as rugged and rough as he's made it out to be, and that when he claims our landlord once owned several of the buildings on our block, but eventually decided to just give 'em up, because no one wanted to live there*, then he was probably telling the naked truth!

*I mean, no one want to pay to live there. There were probably always lots of squatters. I mean, I've seen RENT, so, you know, I should know.  

But hey, look at the pic. Don't you just feel like going back in time?  And sorry for throwing this cheese ball at ya, but can't you just imagine Basquiat standing there on some corner and graffiti-ing away?

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