It’s no secret the East Village has gone through immense changes over the last few decades, but some institutions from the pre-$20 cocktail days have stuck around. The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, a DIY project that occupies the storefront of C-Squat, is dedicated to preserving the history of that squat and others. And MoRUS’s third-annual film fest, I Heart NRCHY: Subversion & the City continues the narrative of political and social activism and anarcho-community organizing.
Stacy Wakefield’s new book The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory, being published by Akashic in May, weaves together her experiences as a squatter in New York City back in the late ’90s. Though it’s a fictional account and the main character Sid, who makes her home in squats in Williamsburg and the Lower East Side, is based on a number of people, the book still offers a window into the waning years of what was once a vibrant squat scene.
We spoke with Wakefield, 43, about the book and what the squatting life was like before it all but disappeared.