What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the East Village in the 90s? Junkies passed out on Avenue A while runaway kids hung out in squats on St. Marks? CBGB and other classic punk bars still going hard, only to be priced out of their leases less than a decade later? Punk heads and artists sharing studios in derelict tenements? For Tim Murphy, the New York-based journalist and author of the new novel Christodora, it was all of these things, but above all it was the home for a community of diverse people from different backgrounds, sexual orientations, and experiences who were searching for a place that would accept them just as they are.
As a young man who arrived to the city in 1991, the East Village represented a haven for an alternative gay scene that was way less polished and more grungy than the one in Chelsea and the West Village. “Courtney Love was the patron saint of the gay East Village in the ’90s,” Murphy told us with a laugh.
Just in case Chico’s cheeky memorial doesn’t get the message across to Taylor Swift and the New York trolling tourism board, another LES legend, Clayton Patterson, has come up with a video response to her appointment as the city’s Global Welcome Ambassador. Above, check out Taylor celebrating Patterson’s footage from the ’88 Tompkins Square Park riot, GG Allin’s last show, and drag and hardcore shows at places like The Pyramid (which recently experienced a corporate co-opting of this own). Patterson emailed it to us along with the thoughts below. More →
Southerners have their Civil War reenactments but what do East Villagers have when it comes to reliving their defining battle? Just the annual Tompkins Square Park Riot reunion shows. But this year, on the 25th anniversary of that tumultuous night when cops went gonzo on a group protesting the park curfew (resulting in over 100 complaints of brutality), they’re getting much, much more. More →