Saturday, July 15, 2006


Concerning the weekends on ave. A

Every Friday and Saturday night a horde of revelers comes to the East Village and the Lower East Side to consume voraciousy a train load of Booze . The city loves it ;all that tax revenue to collect from bars and restaurants . The landlords love it ;all that exorbitant rent to collect from bars and restaurants . Most in the neighborhood who actually live in the neighborhood wish with all their heart that it would just all go away.

The East Village , now that Times Square shuts down early , is one of the few areas in the city that stays open all night . Ray's Candy Store at 113 ave. A remains open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.Ray pays a confiscatory rent because he has to . The landlord can take as much as he does simply because he can . There is no compassion here for the 73 year old beloved nieghborhood figure and the institution that he tends 7 days a week. Much of what is left of the old nieghborhood is anchored to Ray's . Ray makes money in the summer selling Belgian fries ,hot dogs and ice cream products to late night revelers. In the winter he loses money and thus borrows on his credit cards until the mostly drunken summer horde returns. Ray has some oldtime neighborhood business year around but it is not enough to pay the exhorbitant rent levied on him, thus growing debt in the winter and payback in the summer . Most of the new and transient crowd knows Ray's not as Ray's but as "Belgian Fries ".

Fashion obsessed and mostly self absorbed , the drunken worshipers of Dionysus and Narcissus so easily turn a blind eye to the reality around them as they continue their night long revel .Last night , a man sitting in a wheel chair at the corner of 7th street and ave. A , passed out and with a hospital ID bracelet on his wrist, went largely unnoticed and unattended for at least three hours. It's so easy to just step over or around and not see the unpleasent when you are out having a good time .Inncidentally the man in a wheel chair was alright,weak and dissoriented but mostly just sleeping. Few, very ,very ,very few stopped to do so little as to check to see that he was breathing .

I have to admit, I wouldn't stop to help a stranger near Tompkins Park either.
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