You are currently browsing the stories about the East Village neighborhood

Crack Island

by 09/06/2008
Neighborhood: East Village

East 11th Street between Avenue B and C on the Lower East Side of New York was hot for drugs the summer of 1986. The tenement building on the corner of Avenue B was called ‘the Rock.’ Teenage look-outs steered cokeheads into the tenement. The metal apartment doors were welded shut. A spy hole allowed […]

My Blue Period

by 06/22/2008
Neighborhood: East Village

I was temping at a law firm, stocking the goodies that helped lawyers get through their miserably long days. My supervisor told me to be peppy when I brought them their Diet Cokes and cappuccinos, their Toblerones, Mrs. Field’s and macadamia nuts. But peppiness not being my forte, I performed my duties sullenly, and often […]

Susan Connell-Mettauer RIP

by Thomas Beller 06/08/2008
Neighborhood: East Village

About six months ago I got a call from an editor inquiring about Susan Connell-Mettaur. He had discovered her writing on this site and wanted to know more about her. His taste is literary and eclectic. One of his pet subjects, as an editor and writer, is the sixties. It made sense that her writing […]

Walk Like a Woman

by 04/11/2008
Neighborhood: East Village

I always thought Billy Wilder’s film SOME LIKE IT HOT was funny, until my next-door neighbor asked in his basement, “Who you think is prettier as a woman? Jack Lemmon or Tony Curtis?” “Neither.” This was 1964 and men in dresses weren’t supposed to be funny to 11 year-old boys on the South Shore of […]

From Kobe, Japan to New York City (and Back Again)

by 04/11/2008
Neighborhood: East Village

I watched it from a high floor of our apartment building: a confusion of spotlights, protesters, and riot police. Some two thousand people that night were lunging toward our compound wall, shouting “Yankee, Go home!” Through a bullhorn, someone called us gaijin, which technically meant foreigner, but was in actuality, closer to “gringo.” While the […]

Leaves of Grass

by 12/01/2007
Neighborhood: East Village

I slouched on my unmade bed in the murky mid-afternoon twilight, back against the wall, staring forlornly out the window. The sooty red bricks across the air shaft, crusty with flecks of ancient pigeon shit, provided little comfort. I tried casting my eyes around my room every now and then, for variety, but that was […]

Art History

by 08/24/2007
Neighborhood: East Village

My neighbor is an artist and I’ve been walking my dog Vera past her door daily looking for evidence of how she lives. I’m new here now but no longer young. When I was, I lived in the same neighborhood but it was different, so even though my first address in this city was only […]

Losing Your Mind at the Russian-Turkish Baths

by 07/28/2007
Neighborhood: East Village

I’ve been living half a block away from the Russian-Turkish Baths on 268 East 10th St for two years, and until the other day I’d never been inside. The sidewalk thereabouts smells faintly of eucalyptus, like parts of San Francisco, but not because of the trees (which are mainly gingko and ailanthus). Eucalyptus and lavender […]


by 07/20/2007
Neighborhood: East Village

When I was a kid, Avenue B was a neighborhood for the working poor. Old guys would sell hot knishes from a portable oven on wheels for a nickel, and in my family, that was considered “eating out.” We didn’t have a phone, or even a radiator, until the city made the landlady put one […]

Living with Nicola’s Single Life

by 06/01/2007
Neighborhood: East Village

Nicola is a lively twenty-year-old girl of Thai and Italian descent, born and raised on the Upper East Side. She has been my roommate on East 4th Street for four months, since I answered her apartment ad on Craigslist, and she works as a cocktail waitress at Thor—a fashionable nightclub in the Lower East Side—until […]

A Flicker of Sadness in the Blue & Gold

by 12/31/2006
Neighborhood: East Village

Mossy stayed with me for a week in New York and never saw any of the sights. He left the apartment every day and found a breakfast for himself someplace and walked around the east village a little and eventually found his way to the Blue and Gold and started drinking. I’d meet him there […]

Mouse, or: The Botched Mercy-Killing

by 12/16/2006
Neighborhood: East Village

Of the millions of New York City’s undomesticated rodents, only one has caused me grief. I was raised in suburban Los Angeles, and so pre-war apartment living with pre-war apartment problems are new to me—and mice, specifically, have never threatened to pester me in my home. As summer turned to fall, however, my roommates and […]