Friday, November 7, 2008

Giving Extra Place the warm, comfortable feel of suburbia

The Villager has an update on Extra Place:

Neil Cardi was walking down E. First St. between Second Ave. and the Bowery, when he stopped. He was wearing a worn-out rocker T-shirt and black skeleton biker gloves, complete with trench coat slung over his shoulders. Standing by the small, cul de sac in midblock, he sneaked a smirk at the grimy, graffiti-covered walls and scraps of trash that decorated the obscure alley.

“This place gives me comfort,” said Cardi, a former amateur musician who has struggled with substance abuse. “I remember spending a night or two here as the Rolling Stones rolled out the back of that door. It used to be CBGB.”

The unmarked place Cardi stood in front of is a deserted street known as Extra Place and some say that since the 1970s this historic alleyway has given character to the Lower East Side.


AvalonBay’s advertisements that run along the walls between the Bowery and Second Ave. read, “The Redefined Bowery.” And redefining is exactly what residents of 11 E. 1st St. and 22 E. First St., together known as Avalon Bowery Place condominiums, want for Extra Place.

Clean it up!” and “It’s pretty ugly” were the reactions of people coming out of both buildings as they walked from pressure-washed sidewalks surrounding the new buildings to aged, gum-covered splats of cement. Jennifer, a resident of two months who declined to give her last name, said of the attraction of fixing up Extra Place with cafes: “The less I have to travel for nightlife the better.”

So is Extra Place nothing more than an alley that needs a sprucing up or is it one of the last remnants of old New York? The vote is split.

“It’s kind of famous as the back door of CBGB’s. It’s the backdrop of The Ramones’ ‘Rocket to Russia’ album,” said Fred Harris, senior vice president of AvalonBay, of Extra Place. He said it’s unclear if the parcel is even an officially mapped city street, but, “Regardless of its status, or whether or we own it or not, we just want to clean it up, light it and maintain it and pedestrianize it.”

Extra Place coverage on EV Grieve

1 comment:

Alex in NYC said...

First time I met/interviewed Cop Shoot Cop was in Extra Place. Very different place today. Sigh indeed.