RIP Bob Arihood, Chronicler and Best Friend of the East Village

BobArihood.jpg
via East Village Corner
Our friends at EV Grieve inform us of some sad news about East Village mainstay Bob Arihood. Bob died Friday evening in his East Forth Street apartment after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 65. For the past five years, Bob was editor, head photographer, lead journalist, and curator of Neither More Nor Less. Bob chronicled the neighborhood like no one else did. A resident since 1972, Bob would record and report the people and places that most outlets simply let flutter away. We weren't lucky enough to know Bob personally, but we were smart enough to know that if we heard sirens on Avenue A at 2 a.m., Bob would already be there with his camera.

Please take the time to visit his site. Besides being a tireless and curious blogger, Bob was an incredibly talented photographer and videographer. Each page of Neither More Nor Less yields portrait upon portrait of the East Village that is nothing less than absolutely true.

Take this recent passage for example. It's written about Ray's, an Avenue A shop that you have probably stopped in for some fries or an ice cream cone. Like he was with most things in the neighborhood, Bob was an expert on Ray's and its owner:

The East Village , now that Times Square shuts down early , is one of the few areas in the city that stays open all night . Ray's Candy Store at 113 ave. A remains open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.Ray pays a confiscatory rent because he has to . The landlord can take as much as he does simply because he can . There is no compassion here for the 73 year old beloved nieghborhood figure and the institution that he tends 7 days a week. Much of what is left of the old nieghborhood is anchored to Ray's . Ray makes money in the summer selling Belgian fries ,hot dogs and ice cream products to late night revelers. In the winter he loses money and thus borrows on his credit cards until the mostly drunken summer horde returns. Ray has some oldtime neighborhood business year around but it is not enough to pay the exhorbitant rent levied on him, thus growing debt in the winter and payback in the summer . Most of the new and transient crowd knows Ray's not as Ray's but as "Belgian Fries ".

Fashion obsessed and mostly self absorbed , the drunken worshipers of Dionysus and Narcissus so easily turn a blind eye to the reality around them as they continue their night long revel .Last night , a man sitting in a wheel chair at the corner of 7th street and ave. A , passed out and with a hospital ID bracelet on his wrist, went largely unnoticed and unattended for at least three hours. It's so easy to just step over or around and not see the unpleasent when you are out having a good time .Inncidentally the man in a wheel chair was alright,weak and dissoriented but mostly just sleeping. Few, very ,very ,very few stopped to do so little as to check to see that he was breathing .

Ray's will still be open tomorrow, but Bob won't be there to photograph or write about it. The East Village has undergone seismic changes in the past 30 years and more often than not it has been able to adapt and move on. Bob was there to record those shifts, and while the neighborhood he loved will continue to change after his passing, it won't be the same.

His friends are planning a memorial. We will update this page with that information when we get it.

[@nickgreene][ngreene@villagevoice.com]



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4 comments
Kieran Clarke
Kieran Clarke

I was profoundly shocked to just learn of Bob Arihood's premature departure. I loved visiting his blog's and enjoying his wonderful photos. I felt I got to know TSP (although I live across the Atlantic in South West England) and it's weird and wonderful characters that Mr Arihood affectionately captured. The world is colder and the web a less interesting place. RIP Bob, you will be greatly missed!

Jack
Jack

I live in rural Michigan and I've never been to NYC but I've followed Bob's blog for a few years now.  I feel like I know this neighborhood just from going to his blog.  I loved following the life stories of these people from reading Bob's blog and was hoping to for several years to come.   I can't believe Bob is dead.  It really stinks.Flag

Mary Gorman
Mary Gorman

I was fortunate enough to have met Bob once. What a gem! He will be sorely missed.

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