The Times has a nice piece today on the East Village Trivia Night held at the Bowery Poetry Club this past Tuesday. As the paper reports:
“Who was born there? Who died there? Who was shot there?” said the organizer of the event, Eric Ferrara. “We’re interested in everything that’s notable and not so notable.”
Indeed, even before the neighborhood trivia contest began, there was much discussion over the little matter of what to call the neighborhood.
Although contemporary maps generally refer to the area of the East Side between 14th Street and Houston Street as the East Village and reserve the Lower East Side label for the neighborhood south of Houston, most older maps call the entire area the Lower East Side. Some old-timers eschew the East Village name as an aspirational invention of real estate interests trying to pump up property values.
“I use East Village professionally because it is what people know today,” Mr. Ferrara said. “But with family and comrades we still call it the Lower East Side.”
Ferrara grew up on Suffolk Street and is a fourth-generation Lower East Sider. He and some like-minded residents started the East Village History Project in 2001. (Their mission: raise the public's awareness of the East Village/Lower East Side's historic significance and influence in world history.)
The article ends on a rather sad note...it's a shame that a lifelong resident and passionate advocate for the area has to now live elsewhere...
Mr. Ferrara said that he does not reflexively oppose gentrification, but lamented that he had recently moved across the East River to Brooklyn after being evicted from a rent-stabilized apartment on East Third Street.
“I can’t even afford to live in my own neighborhood anymore,” he said.