Check out East Village native Matt Harvey's article in NYPress this week titled "The East Village Isn't What It Used To Be... And It Never Was."
Too much in the article to try to excerpt here. I'll do one. Harvey contacts Richard Hell, who apparently doesn't get out and about much while working on his book:
I email Hell to tell him that he keeps coming up in my conversations around the dusky old town. What’s the deal man, are you up in your rent-controlled apartment with just your memories and Rimbaud? Have you withdrawn from the street and all humanlike zones? He politely replies that he doesn’t want to be bothered. It reads, in part: “Sorry to be a disappointment, I can’t work up much fresh to say on the subject.” When the cultural embodiment of the East Village can’t work up a single quote about his neighborhood, it’s in a lot of trouble.
Matt also talks with Jeremiah Moss, on the phone from his bunker.