May 18, 2005

Call it EastVil and Let's Move On

"Bohemia is dead." - RENT

Previously, on DotBS (paraphrased from here):
"I'm so sad that the East Village is yuppieland, boo-hoo-hoo."

I've since moved on, grown up, and realized that as things change, so too must we. And so I lift my trusted and beaten up footlocker, stuffed with the trinkets and mementos, playbills from East 4th Street theater, tattoo and piercing fliers, and menus for countless japanese, burrito, and falafel places. I will take it with me as my heart and spiritual center moves now from the East Village to some other location.

It took a long time to get there, but I'm through, even, with calling it the "East Village". Let's rename it, dub it "EastVil" - the new Chelsea/Georgetown/hip space - and allow the East Village as we still remember it to become the stuff that archaeologists dig up, our behaviors of that time the fragments of anthropologists' dreams. Let us be the lost bohemian tribes of this ancient village, strewn across the landscape of the metropolis to create new settlements on distant river shores (Williamsburg), oases in upstate deserts (Beacon), and the great unknown (Jersey?).

Let our forced evacuation from our homes and havens remind the world that there will be no peace while the artists and punks remain nomads, fixing up the darkened corners of the urban and suburban wasteland, only to be pushed out by commercial interests and the ever-rising cost of being close to the action. Let us commemorate this time with a witty poem, a performance piece on the caravan in this trail of seers, a solemn oath not to speak of the East Village again in the present tense. It is EastVil, another Manhattan playground for the Not-Me crowd. So no more lamenting. Our people have moved on. So should we.

4 comments:

someone else said...

This is funny, because by the time I arrived in New York (2000), The East Village was already irredeemably young yuppy. And Williamsburg was already well on its way to being unbearably hipster (a word which I would be surprised if anyone still used for themselves...sort of like how it would be odd for hip hop people to still use bling now that me and my mom know what it means :).

Gentrification raises tricky questions too--do I join the hip masses or do I become an early entrant in f#@king up a new working class community? or perhaps retreat the suburbs whence i came :)

Rage said...

Yeah. I mean, I was there in the mid-90s, and it was getting there, but you could still feel the edge that made it more alive. I lived in W'burg in the late 90s, and it was definitely not there yet, though there were a lot of loft parties, and artists making art (rather than opening galleries).

I think we need to find communities that aren't going to move over into the ultra-yuppie, where there's some level of stability, and the neighborhood is actually mixed. I'm less and less convinced that you can find that in New York. And that's really quite sad.

someone else said...

New York is all about transience and, right now, it feels like to resist it, while noble, is like standing in a low water river bed with your hands and arms ready to resist when they're about to pull the dam release.

Then again, I suppose there's always a point to attemped resistance, even if it's only to raise attention to the issue because that's all the powere you have or bring some level of moderation to efforts like the stadiums.

Rage said...

Hey - this is a call for folks to move on. Or at least, for me to move on.