Friday, July 25, 2008


Crusty Row : From Renaissance to Multiple Arrests ...

Nothing like the shooting of two men on 7th street at the begining of Thursday , this crime at the end of Thursday involved 3 people arrested for drinking beer on Crusty Row .
In a post published on June 12 we noted the return of the wandering Crusties to their historic home after being dispersed about Tompkins Square Park for a year or so ; their return a renaissance of Crusty Row .
The last couple of weeks have seen members of the 9th precinct in plain clothes regularly sweeping TSP and of course sweeping Crusty Row too . Too many overdoses , too much dope , too much dope rumored laced with fentanyl ,too many dope dealers , too many needles lying about and too many beer cans strewn about the seating arrangement known as Crusty Row . NYPD is cleaning things up a bit in TSP and they are making some arrests to accomplish that end . The Renaissance of Crusty Row is becoming a new dark age for the Crusties .

I enjoy your blog and the photos you post, but I don't understand why you continuously glorify the "Crusty" lifestyle as if its some sort of institution worthy of preserving. I'm an East Village resident, and a frequent visitor to Tompkins Square Park. The smell of urine and body odor that constantly emanates from this section of the park is disgusting and unsanitary. This pack of alcoholic, drug-addicted, and often mentally disturbed individuals should not be placed on a pedestal as an example of the "real" East Village or pointed to as a symbol of a golden era in the history of the neighborhood. Times have changed, and the fact that the majority of residents now have jobs and are able to sleep in a bed and relieve themselves in a toilet rather than sleeping on a bench and soiling themselves is a positive step for the neighborhood. I respect your appreciation of the neighborhood's history, but I hope that "Crusty Row" becomes exactly that - a relic whose extinction will make Tompkins Square Park and the East Village a safer and better place.
We are not glorifying the Crusty world but are simply pointing to it. It is a fact ;it exists and is part of a much wider spread reality .We are not trying to preserve it , it doesn't need our help . Our society will continue indeffinitely to provide us with Crusties and all manner of other largely disfunctional and unproductive social alternitives .
Just because the EV has largely gentrified doesn't mean that we shouldn't look at what is right under our noses--and this slice of life certainly is--and should assume wishfully that all is just fine because we have ours ....not everyone does . Doing so is only going to cause all of us and our self-coddling and self-congratulating polite society more considerable problems in the future .As we willfully blind ourselves and remain indifferent to the nature and magnitude of the problems of others we also guarantee that this unfortunate sort of unpleasant and inconvenient ugliness , as it always has, will always be with us somewhere . It will always intrude in the most unpleasant and inconvenient ways... especially in large cities like NYC.
The world is still rather ugly , inconvenient ... and quite persistant and effective in producing more of the same . Here we don't even have to scratch the surface to see this , it sits before us daily drinking 40 oz containers of malt liquor and shooting dope on park benches .This is a sad and desperate scene but there is so much more that is so much more desperate ,ugly and deadly than this TSP scene .

So here at NMNL we still take a look at the troubling and disfunctional side of the world . Just to be honest about what is outside our precious door .
We are cynical and bitter about gentrification too ; it is not an unalloyed good either .There is considerable disfunctional behavior that is part-and-partial with it also .Just consider what dysfunctional behavior goes on day and night behind all those precious doors .Just how inconvenient for some would it be for us to put our camera and pen to work on that scene .
We do mostly believe in Mom , Apple Pie and the Flag but we still try to be frank here at NMNL about things that we see , presenting them fairly and honestly though we know many may not want to look at what we present. We do try to entertain too .That is not supporting and glorifying .
I'm fascinated by the Crusties, they have such a consistent fashion sense. The East Village they represnt is the unpredictable, innovative, wild East Village, not the sports bar, sexinthecity freaks that are infesting our blocks.
A-freaking-men on your response. People around here seem to have such a seething hatred of "unacceptable" people like crusties and other homeless, I think it's because seeing them reminds them that all is not well and right in their happy little world of material comforts as they imagined. Thank you for beautifully showing the humanity of the "invisible people" through your photos and blog.
the "consistant fashion sense is
a mindless uniform that can be purchased in any mall. IT was
passe' in the 80's. Around the time
Sid's body bag was taken out of the Chelsea. Bob doesnt place them on a pedestal...rather he revels a bit like Bosch in sin and grotesque
behavior...the face of idiocy adorns many nativitys.....Personally if you want the stink out of the park
eliminate the dogs and dog owners..
as well as you rich pig-fuckers. pardon me dog fuckers.
homelessness as a choice is one thing but many are sick, mentally, physically, etc.

there is no place for anger though
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