Friday, September 14, 2007
A perfect little video interlude titled Art and Unrest in the East Village appeared online at the NY Times site today on the history of the East Village by John Strausbaugh, who also wrote the related article Paths of Resistance in the East Village. It's the neighborhood that my grandparents lived in after emigrating to the US in the early twentieth century, as well as countless others who came here before and afterward. Later in the 50's, and more as I remember it in the late 70's as an Art student, it was the epicenter of counter-culture and the NY Arts scene. The piece laments that the the "East Village has been dragged up-market" as a sort of negative which might be challenged by my parents and others who grew up there during the Great Depression and witnessed its decline. The work of activist, photographer and videographer Clayton Patterson, a native of Alberta, Canada, is featured throughout. He has documented the changes he's seen there since 1979. Mr. Patterson, also the editor of Resistance: A Radical Political and Social History of the Lower East Side, a collection of essays on the politics of East Village real estate.