Artist Legacy Russell Explores Personal Geographies of LES and EV

Legacy Russell
This past summer we wrote about Legacy Russell, an artist embarking on a year-long project that in its different phases (called "rites") explores the nature of memory in the East Village and the Lower East Side. When we first met Russell she was working on the first "rite" -- the "Rite of Remembrance" -- in which she sat in Tompkins Square Park taking down people's stories of the neighborhood. Now, Russell is in the midst of the third "rite," the "Rite of Rearrangement" in which she takes portraits of people in a local site of their choosing. She will eventually print those portraits out as large scale black and white images that can be hung up as public sculpture. The rite "is going to be an opportunity for people to look at and evaluate their personal geography," she told Runnin' Scared this week.

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What Does East Village Resistance to Occupy Tompkins Square Park Mean for the East Village?

John Penley, by Paul DeRienzo
For about a week now, there have been plans to occupy Tompkins Square Park, led largely by East Villager John Penley, who has a Facebook page set up for the event, which was scheduled to begin on Saturday with a noontime picnic. In the wake of last night's announcement by Mayor Bloomberg that protesters at Zuccotti Park would have to move so that the park could be cleaned, we wondered if there was any change in the plans for Tompkins -- an earlier start date, maybe? Penley told us there's "no change in our plans."

This may come as unpleasant news to a number of East Village locals, who, upon hearing of the planned Tompkins Square occupation, have been making their distaste for the effort known, particularly as commenters on EV Grieve's post about the event.

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East Village Super Held Time Warner Cable Hostage For 24 Hours

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A very different hostage situation.
EV Grieve had a bizarre story yesterday about a crooked super in the East Village who's been holding a cable box hostage. And not just any cable box, but a node that controls the cable and internet for multiple buildings in the East Village. The super was allegedly not allowing Time Warner to get to the basement of his building and service the box because he wanted free cable, leaving an area of the EV without cable or Internet for 24 hours.

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A Candlelight Vigil Will Be Held at Ray's on Tuesday in Memory of Bob Arihood

Last, night, handmade signs and lit candles outside of Ray's alerted passersby on Avenue A that there had been a loss in the neighborhood family. Following the untimely death of 65-year-old East Villager, photographer, and blogger Bob Arihood, both personal friends and those who simply knew him by his considerable work (see Neither More Nor Less and Nadie Se Conoce) have made their sadness known. Lindsay Wengler, who met Arihood recently at Ray's and instantly connected with him, joining him in wandering photography ventures around Manhattan, has, along with Shawn Chittle, planned a vigil for Tuesday night at 8 p.m. outside of Ray's, between 7th and 8th Streets on Avenue A. Wengler told us, "Bob was always kind of a fixture at Ray's. That's where I met him. I went for an egg cream and met him and didn't want to go home. He was just captivating and interesting."

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The Bellmen of the Bowery Spill About Their Jobs: From Finding Prostitutes to Seeing Tara Reid Faceplant

We've long wondered about the dapper gentlemen we always see on our way to and from Voice Headquarters, standing outside the gentrified hotels of the Bowery. What must they think? What must they see? We took to the streets to ask a few questions of the bellmen of the Cooper Square Hotel and the Bowery Hotel. Due to some job security related issues, they decided to keep it anonymous.

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'Village Doorman' May Prevent You Trekking Out to That Faraway Package Warehouse

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In New York, it's hard to get package deliveries when they arrive unless you're home sick, you live in a dorm, or you have a doorman. If you miss the package three times in a row, it's sent off to this weird warehouse far away, and you have to go pick it up, which is a pain in the ass. Just like everything else these days, there's now an app for this, or at least a service you can sign up for online. It's called Village Doorman, and it's what it sounds like: a virtual doorman. Of sorts.

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Three Times More Drunks Are Driving Around the East Village

According to the Crime & Safety study recently released by DNA Info, drunk driving arrests in the East Village nearly tripled last year, with 141.4 percent more arrested (140 incidents) in the 9th Precinct than the year before. Damningly, each year there's been a greater increase -- since 2001, arrests have gone up 600 percent. Yet, in the rest of the city, arrests have mostly declined.

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Greenwich Village Preservation Society Fights NYU Expansion With Cartoon Ghost

Every year, NYU hosts a Halloween children's parade in conjunction with Manhattan Community Board 2. This year they're holding a contest to design the parade's official tote bag. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), sworn enemies of NYU's massive 2031 expansion plan, have made a submission to the contest and called upon others to do the same. Behold:

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New York in the 1960s: Plenty of Hipsters, Fewer Starbucks

Lower East Side from Django's Ghost on Vimeo

Look at that fucking hipster! Wait...where are we? When are we? As this clip of the East Village in the '60s -- posted on Neighborhoodr via Handsome as Fuck and supplemented with music from the Velvet Underground -- demonstrates, nerdy black glasses, smoking, ironic headbands, skinny jeans, and an overall certain retro-vintage style was popular a long time ago, before there were assholes like us to dub it "retro-vintage." More »

BMW Guggenheim Lab Will Highlight East Village History

Esther Zuckerman
Even as the BMW Guggenheim Lab stands as another example of the gentrification of the East Village -- rats, rather than artistic types, used to be the dominant guests in the once vacant lot owned by the Parks Department that stretches between East First and Houston Streets -- it also aims to engage its guests in conversation about the neighborhood of yore. The lab, a hard-to-define project described in its press release as a "think tank, public forum, and community center," will be open Wednesdays through Sundays until October 16, after which it travels to Berlin and Mumbai. Though the theme, "Confronting Comfort," is constant between the worldwide stops, the content is site-specific.

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