East Village in NY Times...


I bumped into Helen Stratford on the street today and she told me that she and I and Babs had our photo in a NY Times article about the East Village a few months back and we'd never known it! It was a horrible article actually, in the Real Estate section, I feel sick that Babs and Helen and I were the visual for it.
Where do these people get their journalism degrees? This is some awful stuff.

Of "East Villagers" around Tompkins Square Park the article (by Jake Mooney) says:

"That group has included homeless people and drug users who took over large parts of the park in the late 1980s, more than once clashing with the police. But it also includes people like Ms. Kewalramani, a yoga teacher who paid $1.2 million for her 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom in Christodora House, a 16-story condominium at 143 Avenue B. Loyalists say one of the best things about the park and its environs is that they can comfortably accommodate such a broad spectrum of residents."

What a ridiculous statement! Let's look at this paragraph. He says the area now "can comfortably accommodate such a broad spectrum of residents" as though he just listed a "broad spectrum," but what "broad spectrum" did he just list? A millionaire yoga teacher... and... and... no one else!

The only other people he DID mention were some anonymous "homeless people and drug users" whom the writer claims "took over large parts of the park in the late 1980s" as though the park had been the territory of someone else until an army of these undesirables had stormed it one night and taken it over; the truth was more like to the exact opposite, it was the people with no other home to go to who had been living in the park for many years until the park was taken over violently on the night of August 6, 1988, by an invading army of cops. In any case, since the article does mention that this "homeless/drug user" bunch found themselves "more than once clashing with the police," it certainly doesn't sound like they are part of the "broad spectrum" who can be "comfortably accommodated." Sounds to me like the only people who can be comfortably accommodated are those who can afford a million-plus dollar one-bedroom, and that's a pretty damn exclusive elite few, not a broad spectrum.

The article also continues to mention the Christodora House building multiple times, without once mentioning that the building was built (for less money than this lady paid for that one-bedroom) specifically to be used for lower-income and immigrant housing - the city pulled a dirty deal and sold Christodora House to private developers in 1975 for less money than this lady's toilet probably cost (at least less on-the-books money), forever putting it far beyond the reach of any of the lower-income families or immigrants in need of affordable housing for whom it was intended to be used. The Christodora House building still contains a pool and a gymnasium that are legally only allowed to be in there for free public use, which was their originally intended purpose, but just you try to walk in there and take a swim - you'll find yourself "clashing with the police" pretty damn quick.

Here's the Times article in full, from Nov 21, 2010 -


This made me think of this...

MMM's picture

I'll clarify myself - the

Jeff Lewis's picture

I'll clarify myself - the article DOES mention that Christodora House was built for low-income housing, but does not mention the highly questionable deal that turned it into high-income housing, which is in large measure what fueled/fuels the "Die Yuppie Scum" antagonism towards the building (antagonism which IS mentioned in the article, without really mentioning the reasons).