We are two tenant associations who joined together to defend ourselves against a corporate real estate investment hydra that seeks to expel us from our homes in order to maximize their profits.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

East Village/ Eastern Europe

These are 2 photos a friend sent to me of our block on east 4th street in 1978. The building on the left with the 3 steps up is 118. The next one in is 120 East 4th. I moved in round this time and I recall the neighborhood having a feeling of Eastern Europe before the Wall came down. I think it had more charm, style, and culture back then. Quite a bit of personality and possibility. 

Check out the frame and wire coverings over the windows of the street level apartments. Those tenants kept chickens in there. They sometimes ran around in the back courtyard. Little mocha colored wild looking chickens. They often got loose and ran up the stairs. For some peculiar reason they terrified the 3 drag queen prostitutes that lived in #18. There were rumors of Santeria rituals run amok in the building. One thing I'll say for those chickens prowling the building, is that there were far fewer water bugs creeping about than there are now. The garbage was more neatly organized and tidy than it is currently. Just noticed that. I don't know who the dude is in the pic but he reminds me of that famous photo of James Dean, except in this scenario his back is to us and looks like he wants to get the hell away. 

This is across the street. All I can say is damn, the design and shapes of the cars look so nice compared to the design of the cars of today. Now I'm not pining for the past. The now is great, but the current now is being whitewashed and the culture is fleeing the suburbanization of the city. The EV was like those cars back then. Now its sort of soft and blobby like car design today. Can't tell one car from another. No personality. I wouldn't mind the return of hard lines, color, and some of those wild mocha brown chickens too.... with today's technology and the internet.... Ugh! think of the possibilities.


  1. Drag queen prostitutes and mocha brown chickens? I could do that!

  2. Wow! The buildings look so different without paint. BTW, they are testing out all sorts of Springtime pastels on the outside walls. Strange, they changed the hallway walls from butter yellow to grey. Our halls look like a poor man's Restoration Hardware catalog (anyone else look at those left in the hall? Boor-ring!). On the other hand, a mocha colored chicken would have made the perfect accent! I guess today we'd call them Artisanal Fowl...very BMW/Guggenheim!

    1. (Stardust) yes! Artisanal Fowl to keep down the growing population of water bugs.

  3. Before gentrification, the individual stores and businesses in the neighborhood were for the needs of the people living here; now there's a glut of restaurants and bars that cater to the hordes of visitors from outside of the neighborhood.

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