Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Basta ! ... No More . This is the Final Post at NMNL





I'm sorry to hear this, Bob. You have been an invaluable resource to this neighborhood for years. Without your words, photos and reporting, we would have missed so many stories that no one else ever reported on...

I hope that the site remains live so that we can all remember this special time and place.
wait. what. really. say it ain't so...
Please don't go.......
The final post?!? Why? This is such a great site! It provides such a rich history of the neighborhood!
thats a shame, i really have grown to enjoy it.
Well thanks Bob, it was great while it lasted.
Honestly? If it's true then thanks for a very entertaining and more importantly informative blog. You've provided a true service for the community. Enjoy your "retirement."
that's a shame. i've enjoyed the blog!
Say it ain't so!
I can't believe it. Don't want to believe it. NMNL has no replacement.
Maybe you need to take a break and then continue with a clearer mind.

Whether you know it or not, you've been performing a public service for us.

Don't give up just yet....
Bob are you serious? Why? You've got a loyal readership, and you're doing great coverage.
Say it ain't so, Bob! For people like myself who no longer live in New York, your coverage is a treat and a way to reconnect with the city. If this is in fact the end, thanks so much for your dedicated reporting and beautiful photography.
are you moving hosts or quitting altogether?

If the latter applies, I am very sad. Where will I now get to see what's happening in my old neighborhood and how my dear Hot Dog is doing?
No more? Dont tell me your stopping blogging? Please... We need this for East VIllage news, gossip, pictures. BOB!!! Nooooo.
Dont stop! You obviosly love what you do, since I see you every night hanging out by 7 and A. If you didnt love it, you wouldnt do it.
Seriously? Nuts, I really like your blog. I'll miss it, thanks for all of you're work!
Final post! Why?
Bob, I've really enjoyed your chronicles of the neighborhood, your great photos, and the stories and knowledge of history that you bring to every post. Best wishes on whatever your next project happens to be.
really? No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What? Why?! Love this blog!
Please explain why . . . The saga of Ray is over ?
Very sorry to hear it. I love your photos and will miss them.
Tis what it tis -- love your photos/comments, know you have a lot of heart - I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't miss your work here - but life moves on - everyday that knocks me like a stone - like a river it all moves on - - whatever you choose will be good.
bob, i'm glad you decided to publish these comments. everyone can see how valuable you and your work has been in the neighborhood. NMNL will be terribly missed. i hope you go on to do more great work and we get to see it somewhere, if not here.
nooooo.......hope this blog doesn't turn into a cupcake/fro-yo/ramen/bank/starbucks joint.

thanks for all the work you've done, and, they will be missed, nonetheless.
What will become of the NMNL groupies?
Yeah sure Chris , like thats reality !
Bob, I left a comment a few months ago--I'm disabled & housebound and your blog helped me keep up with the neighborhood I was able to enjoy up to about 3 years ago. I would be lost without your "eyes" and comments about the latest news, be it about Ray, "Hot Dog", or whatever.

You are my last chance to see Ave A, 7th St. and TSP.

If you do stop posting, all I can say is thank you, you've done a great job, and I wish it could continue.
Like they say, all good things must come to an end.

I'm sure you have your reasons, Bob. I wish you well.

You wrote a heck of a blog. I will miss it.

I wish you much luck in all your future projects and endevours.

Good luck, Bob. Your pictures contributed a lovely commentary on the neighborhood. They will be missed.
NMNL is (was) one of my faves. Now, it's EVGrieve's word for everything in the EV;)

Why quit? Why not take a break if a break is necessary?

FWIW, NMNL taught me what I know about TSP. And, while the crusty life ain't for me, and I've never received a hand job at the Horseshoe Bar from Marline, after reading NMNL I'm both more wary of my whacked out neighbors and a bit more sympathetic.

If I could have voted for the best NYC blog, my vote would have gone to NMNL for the last two years. You are missed already.
Bob, thank you so much for your work over the years. You have a lot of(quiet) fans out here.

Best of luck.
Bob? Can you give us an update as to what is happneing? Are you quitting? Reasons? If they are private and personal, then we will respect that, we just wanna know. As Im sure you are realizing, you have ALOT of readers on here. Alot of Fans. I check this site every day, its in my favorites. Believe it or not, you could probably do advertising on here with a hit counter and make a few bucks to help you cover costs.
to Rollo . I appologize for not continuing to provide images for you .This blog has to end but there are a number of blogs covering the EV now . there will be many more views available by others in the future .
someone else must carry the torch!!! never say die!!
will John Penley carry on your good work ????
Wow. I am deeply saddened by the news. I have been reading your blog for almost three years now, and have posted comments occasionally but not often. Thank you Bob for the time you have taken to photograph and and share the neighborhood with the world. Thanks for letting me see my friend Jewels as well, although the sad state to which he has reduced himself is shocking to me. When I knew him he always had a job and a roof over his head. Then again, even then he was barreling down the road to self destruction. He never really did get over his son dying. I look at my little boy and I can't even imagine.
I'll miss your posts, the "Biker Bill Says" ones were always great. I wish you would continue, but you must follow your heart. Thanks again for all of it...
Just caught this blog thanks to the NYT posting about it. Wish I knew about it while I lived in the EV. It's true there's a proliferation of tweetpics and cell phone crap, but I haven't seen anything that captures the emotion and people that your photos do. If you're stopping because of the work demands, that's understandable, but don't stop because you don't think you aren't providing anything unique.
NOOOOOOO say it ain't so! Your images are FANTASTIC!
NY Times today:
I demand more. This is the only local blog that I read every day. You say that others will come along, but none have the same level of consistent quality. There is no replacement.
I'm so sad to see you go. You've been such a great source of photos and stories, a true community asset. There are other EV news sites, but none like yours. (Show me one with a pic of a falcon snagging a rat for lunch.) Thank you so much for maintaining this blog as long as you did, Bob. You rock.
so the powers that be, fate, whatever... have tansformed the "interesting" (read: degenerate) circus of the east village into a pub crawl mecca for douchebags. at least there are still some folks raising families in the area and (some) legitimately hard working people who deserve a great neighborhood to live in. dont nobody worry, there will be plenty to bitch and gripe about for those of you who stay. i have the feeling that bitching and griping is alot of what some dedicated NMNL followers do...
SO... go forth and bitch and squabble about how unfair and tragic it all is and continue to live your illusion and slowly become old and bitter and die. thanks for a great ride, bob, and good night.
Thanks for the beautiful and moving photos.

Please publish a book !
It's been clear that Bob has become more and more disillusioned with the gentrification that has occurred over the years for quite some time. I think once Ray became eligible for his Social Security benefits recently, Bob felt that any social obligations he had to the cause had been satisfied.

He explained himself. There just isn't enough source material out there to warrant the coverage in his opinion.

Bob achieved a rare feat: Social commentary while maintaining (the appearance of?) a sense of objectivity. I commend him for this.

This blog is a quite a valuable entity, and I submit is should be submitted for permanent inclusion in the digital archives of the Library of Congress- a project that has gained a lot of steam in the last few years.

As for gentrification... I'm torn. I moved into the 'hood when I moved on to the park in 1996 or some 14 years ago (FYI born in the City and raised in Brooklyn).

I lived with three people in one apartment, and everything east of my place was pretty scary. I've seen some lovely new businesses come in, and I've seen the neighborhood become safer. Is that a bad thing?

Shouldn't a population be expected to grow and improve along with a neighborhood? Isn't it our responsibility to improve and evolve as well? I am still in that same apartment, except now its all mine, with my girlfriend who moved in as well. Is a safer, nicer, cleaner, area where kids can play without the threat of bodily harm a bad thing? I don't know that it is, as much as I miss and love the area's colorful history.

This is my first post ever, after all these years. And that's the last of my social commentary. I apologize to anyone on either side of the argument who might be offended by what I wrote.

I have one humble (or not so humble) request, and I thank you for your thousands of posts, whether you answer or not...

All the locals you've documented, from LES, Jim, Bill, Bob, etc have been so well illustrated by you, I feel like I understand them (either to sympathize or to loathe).

But I've never been able to get my head around Amy. Who is she? Where did she come from? She lived in a dorm? So she was studying? What? Why back to the streets and Ray's? Is she well? She comes across as very stable- but if so, then how can she rectify being with a lunatic like Jewels? Is she scared of getting ill from him? Was the wedding real? Even in their hearts? I've never been able to understand her, more than anyone else you've documented.

I don't expect that answer, but I wanted to ask it.

I hope you reconsider giving up this blog. So many of us love it. But if you do, I wish you good luck in the future and great heath always.

Amy was a college student here for the term of nearly 4 years . She graduated this spring from the School of Visual Arts. She no longer lives in NYC .

L.E.S. Jewels is incarcerated at Rykers Island waiting to be sentanced .Jewels assaulted a male breaking some bones in the males face .We all will know his longer term fate soon as he is to be sentenced June 1 , 2010.

Amy and Jewels are no longer together .Most likely they never will be . As we understand things Amy sent Jewels a "Dear John" letter in prison explaining everything about how she felt ...and what she was going to do without him .

We do not truly understand their relationship but they did once seem to love each other .The land of the heart is a place unknown and strange , full of the incomprehensible .

Their wedding which we photographed was real in that Sid "the Nazi" who conducted the ceremony and witnessed the vows , as a priest of Oden had the legal capacity to do so . He was legitimate in that sense with the state of NY and the city .He had the proper paperwork .

There was no wedding license though . For whatever reason Jewels couldn't get it together to go with Amy and get one .The couple used 2 of Sid's rings because the couple didn't have the money to buy their own gold bands .Without the license the wedding was not a legal wedding .

The wedding was a bit disorganized because in part Sid had not been able to make it to the wedding rehersal in Tompkins Square Park.Sid had overdosed on heroin earlier in the afternoon of their wedding rehersal .

How much Amy and Jewels intended the wedding to be real and binding we do not know .We remember that Jewels told us after the ceremony that he could only promise her that he would not lie to her nor would he ever beat her .

That night Jewels slept alone , passed out on the avenue A sidewalk .Amy slept in her dorm room . He later thanked us for photographing the wedding because he was so drunk that he didn't remeber any of the wedding .

As to being disillusioned with gentrification . There is nothing disillusioning at all about the process .We know something of the history of cities and civilization and there is nothing new here .Especially since Baron Hausmann's remaking of Paris .There are many tales of rapid ,radical urban change on record .

We just told a few stories about what it was like living in the midst of the process in downtown NYC .Those of less worth to those with power have always suffered . There is a well documented 2000+ year history to attest to this fact .

And for Ray , well he isn't out of the forest of problems yet .Ray's social security benefits have indeed been approved . We heard Mr. Vasquez at SS tell Ray that he will recieve his benefits in 20 days or less .But Ray has not been acting in good faith with his landlord .

Ray received a "cease and desist" letter from his landlord .Likely a final communication . This letter requires that Ray remove his frying equipment from the premises or install the proper ventilaing equipment with fire suppression by 5 May 2010 .the landlords insurance company demands this be done .Ray has very unwisely defied this order .The landlord will thus just evict him sometime soon . Ray has no lease and thus no standing to challenge such an eviction action . This could happen as soon as the first of June .

Ray for the time being does not have to sell Belgian Fries to survive , especially with his increased summer ice cream revenue and his SS benefits in hand soon .Ray refuses to listen to reason and thus will one way or another soon be forced to vacate his 113 avenue premises .
but why! i read this all the time! there was a murder on 9th street and I came here hoping to find out the details! things are still happening
Know nothingof a murder on 9th street . Such things will of course continue . We no longer have the time to devote to reporting on such things . We too have a life of our own to live .
Is it true is it true maybe this blog will be ghost written with all the good talent that has read it over the years .......
you dont know me, I never left a comment, never wrote anything, but having lived in east village, i understand when you say there is nothing left ....
BUT its a shame, you were great, your site is an amazing insight into reality of new york life, or what it used to be.. funny, crazy, heartbreaking, real! good luck and please keep the site alive!
Well, damn. When I posted my first comment, no others had come up yet and I thought I could be mistaken about the last post. I hope all these comments show you how much NMNL has meant to so many people. I originally stumbled on your blog when looking for something TSP-related and remember how amazed I was to find a site that was, first of all, so thorough when it came to documenting the happenings around 7th & A, but also presented in such a personal way. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and stories of people whose faces I recognize, but would not have known if it weren't for you. Each morning, I liked to tune in here to see what I'd missed the night before. And, without you, Bob, the public would not have known about Ray's plight. I think what touched me most were the posts about Markey and how his friends and family were able to find him again, thanks to you. Although I will miss NMNL greatly, I wish you well in your new endeavors and hope you feel inclined some time in the future to give us some neighborhood updates. Yes, there are other EV blogs and many of them are excellent, but seeing the EV through your eyes has been something special and unique. Best wishes.
At this point with all the surprising attention Goggla I can't say anything more meaningful than thank you to you and everyone for all the support .
I going to really miss reading your blog and I really wish you wouldn't stop. As a ex-squatter in the LES now settled down in Minnesota, your posts and pictures made me feel closer to the neighborhood I used to call home. Good luck and great work.
I'm really going to miss your blog Bob. I haven't hopped a freight train to spend time in the neighborhood in a very long time. This place was great to visit for a dose of nostalgia. I must say your coverage on Ray was brilliant, you did a lot to bring his struggles to the forefront. I really am going to miss this blog, it was in a league of its own in regards to other East Village blogs. Take care, safe travels..
awww but its summer! things are just about to get crazy! We'll miss you! Me and my wife found comfort in your blog being Floridian transplants and a little unaware of our new neighborhood!
Thank you, Bob, for all your hard work and the invaluable information you've disseminated through your blog. Best wishes to you and all your future endeavors.
Does this mean you won't be hanging out at Ray's anymore? I haven't seen you there since your last post.

SERIOUSLY now, what will it take for you to keep this blog going?

Will you at least leave the previous posts here for us to look back on?

Thanks for taking the time to write what was a delightfully comprehensive epilogue for the comments section of a blog.

Lots of good news in there. Probably good Amy got out of town, and certainly good that she moved on with her life, I hope it sticks. I hope she does well in the next chapter of this long, strange trip we all take.

As for Ray, well lets hope he sees the forest through the trees.

"The land of the heart is a place unknown and strange, full of the incomprehensible."

Truer words have never been spoken, my friend. God knows I've had a ride.

Be well and I hope you feel inclined to shoot, report and post here and there.

Thanks Bob for all the great shots. Your a true inspiration to a young street photographer.
Now that your gone, can you take some of the trash that you photograph with you?
Say it ain't so. I left the neighborhood involuntarily to enter a rehab program. Dreadfully, I knew many of the crusties you documented (even though I worked on Wall Street and had a market rate place).

Nonetheless, I loved my time in Manhattan. Now I am in the Midwest, and I miss the LES terribly. It was theraputic to read your site. I wish there were some way for you to monetize your influence to allow you to continue.

I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors.
Oh, man, Bob, I'm so sorry. Sorry you got tired and don't want to do it anymore. And sorry for the neighborhood. We'll all miss you and your great work. And sorry for the state of journalism, that you are our best local news source.
Thanks for all the great work. I'm a former East Villager who left town a few months ago, and NMNL has been a great way for me to keep tabs -- and to rekindle my nostalgia. Whatever else you do in life, I hope you'll remember that NMNL made a lot of people very happy.
Why are you quitting, Bob? What are you going to do now? What is your source of income if you don't mind me asking.
Im afraid to go east of 1st Ave. Please take me with you.
"The weight of this sad time we must obey;/ Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say./ The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long."

God speed, Bob Arihood.
i know you warned us all, but it still comes as a shock. thank you for the gift you gave us all.

Bob, with Times Up and Code Pink occupying the BP station on Houston St tomorrow you really ought to make that your serenade pix song. Anyone who wants to see my pix can send me a Facebook friend request but I will not be out there like Bob has been.
Hi Bob. I have loved reading your blog and will miss it but I can see that you are tired and ready to move on and focus on your own life. Don't worry about Ray. You've done all you could for him and if he is foolish enough not to comply with what is required of him to keep his space--like you point out he really doesn't need to sell Belgian fries in the summer to survive--then so be it. He too can move on to the next chapter of his life. Hope you have a good summer and get to enjoy yourself more.
This is the only blog I follow. I stumbled upon it a few months ago while searching for photos of punks in NYC (trying in vain to find a picture of a lost friend). I love this blog. I love how real it is. A picture says a thousand words, right? You're pictures talk about reality. Thank you for all you've done. I'll miss this blog, but I wish you the best of luck.

I live in a small town in Michigan and have never been to NYC. I am disappointed this is ending because I have been following it and greatly enjoyed the human stories it told of a place I may never visit. I will miss hearing of Ray's and wonder what will become of his business. I respect Bob's desire to use his time for other things, I just wish he could keep the blog "open" in that he could leave open the possibility of occasionally posting an entry in the future, when time permits, in order to continue some of the human stories(like Ray's). Especially for someone like me who will never visit or meet these people, but who wants to see the stories continue.
You'll be back, Bob....this thing is in your blood. You can't deny what makes you you!
Say it ain't so Bob. Say it ain't so.
Bob---need updates for Jewelz-Marlene nd Mosaic Man and his meltdown.....what up??if only briefly--or are you out of the loop????
LES Jewels was supposedly sentenced on June 1.

Does anyone know the details? Chime in if you are still checking in here, Bob. Thanks!
According to NYC Dept of Corrections Jewels will be incarcerated until 20 October ,2010
Where is Marlene a/k/a hot dog??and where is Mosaic Man??and why is he taking his work down???need news Bob,please.
I've seen Mosaic Man several times in the last few days (in the late afternoon/evening) outside the barber shop on 5th St, near 2nd Ave. Anyone wanting an update can probably catch him there.
i am very sorry to see you go. i lived in the east village for 20 years and often saw you at ray's late at night with your camera. i didn't realize this was your blog until recently. thank you for documenting our neighborhood. i wish you happiness and good fortune in whatever you decide to do next.
Whats going on, I still see you hanging out by 7 and ave A with your silly camera, but your not posting the pictures.. Why bieng so shady bob? we like your photos of alphabet city. Comeon you think you could let your fans know what is going on. We have been so loyal for so long
I keep coming back to your blog Bob hoping there is more....
I come back from time to time, hoping maybe Bob will find it in his heart to perhaps do an "NMNL lite"

Happy Independence Day...
I am pretty sure I saw Hot Dog (or a dopelganger) peeing in broad daylight on one of the benches across from the chess tables the other day. Stay classy, Marlene!
Personally, I would love to hear that Bob shut down this blog because he landed a book deal and will finally get paid for the great work that he does! Maybe it's wishful thinking but it would be great news!
Well the best thing you can do at this point is a book. I really enjoyed your photos.
I became interested in this site after my boyfriend started working at a bar on Ave. B. I could be incorrect, but I do think I saw you in there once with your camera, and I think we scared you off.
I do hope that you are going to put this into something, with all the effort you've put into this site, seems like a shame for it and all of the people documented within to just rot away on the internet.
Yo Bob,

Sup wif you. dude? You be frontin' dog! I seen you out dere wif yo camera. You keepin' all dose good shots fo yoself, isn't you?
totally late to this, but hated to learn that you've stopped this blog, though I can understand any number of reasons for doing so (time, energy, life . . . ) So, thank you for the great photos (I will seriously miss the wildlife - as in the hawks - photos) and honest eye. Good luck to you!
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