Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Looking at the "Lower East Side: An Endangered Place"

In the Examiner today, Bernie Mooney has a piece on a short documentary called "Lower East Side: An Endangered Place." It will be part of a program at the Asian American International Film Festival, which begins July 23. As Mooney writes, "In the past decade, the Lower East Side has become a Disneyland for drunks and a playground for out of control development. History is fast being lost."

The documentary by director MA Shumin looks at "the gentrification of the area and how that has affected the lives of people who live and work there." Here's the trailer



Thanks to commenter Geoff for telling us the film will show at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 24, as part of the "Home Is Where The Heart Is" shorts program.

10 comments:

NYCDreamin said...

Looks awesome, sad, and maddening all at the same time.

Ken Mac said...

ditto. sigh.

Bowery Boogie said...

good find. i wanna see this.

Brooks said...

When you look at the already staggering losses, you want to weep.

Thanks. Am putting this on my calendar.

geoff matters said...

Playing 5pm Fri 14th July @ MOCA, as part of "Home Is Where The Heart Is" shorts program. http://www.aaiff.org/2009/06/02/home-is-where-the-heart-is/

sachalouise said...

I completely agree with all the comments above; however, I have to wonder if this documentary does much more for LES gentrification than Al Gore did for global warming. How can we prevent this? That's what I want to know. What committees can I sit on, what letters can I write, what "yuppies" can I convince not to move here? I'm a "young urban professional" myself, but unlike a "yuppie," I don't get drunk every night only to throw up on somebody's stoop, and I don't shun the local establishments in favor of Starbucks. I moved to the area to enjoy the culture and the neighborhood. Period. Moreover, these questions I'm posing are not rhetorical -- can anyone tell me steps we non-filmmakers can take to prevent any further gentrification? I want to make some change that, for once, doesn't negatively affect these longstanding residents.

EV Grieve said...

Thanks for the information, Geoff.

Anonymous said...

If this city had more people like you Sachalouise, we might just be in better shape. You're a gem!

prodigal son said...

Sachalouise, I'm not sure what you can other than not patronize the more yunnieish businesses, or move.

Political power in New York is very concentrated. Community Boards are appointed and are only advisory, besides CB2 in this case doesn't seem to be part of the problem. New York has a strong mayor and a weak city council, and anyway at 150,000 constiuents for districts councilmember represent multiple neighborhoods. The Assembly Speaker happens to represent the LES, but he has been one of the few thorns in Bloomberg's side during his career. The Assembly is the only part of the state government that seems to be even functioning at the moment.

Also alot of the supergentrification is caused by national trends. I can think of alot of illegal methods to counter it, but people probably are not desperate enough yet.

MA Shumin (馬淑敏) said...

the screening was a success! a sold out audience, we the filmmakers were happy so many folks care to come