Word is spreading through the neighborhood with the shocking news that Bob Arihood has died. Several of Bob's friends have confirmed this. He apparently suffered a heart attack in his East Fourth Street apartment. We'll have more information when it becomes available.
For the past five years, Bob chronicled the comings and goings of the East Village on Neither More Nor Less. His site was essential viewing every day. He seemed to deem himself a social scientist more than a journalist at times. His work was invaluable for showing the changes in the East Village, starting with the eviction of Jim Power and others from 120 St. Marks's Place.
The neighborhood was better off with his reporting, because no one else did what he did. Documenting 3 a.m. fistfights on Avenue A. Police searches in Tompkins Square Park. Comings and goings on Crusty Row. He captured the absurd, the ugly, the every day that makes the vanishing East Village unique.
The Times featured Bob's short-term retirement from Neither More Nor Less back in June 2010:
His style of reporting was of the old-fashioned shoe-leather sort and his main subjects were the itinerant travelers, street drinkers, punks, poets and sidewalk sleepers that once proliferated in the East Village but these days make up a vanishing tribe.
L.E.S. Jewels, Cowboy Stan, Drunkenstein, Bobby Apocalypse, Swami, the Groper, Outlaw, Loan Shark Bob, Barnacle Bill and the Mosaic Man, among others, all appeared in Mr. Arihood’s blog. Some of those subjects are now dead. Others are in jail. A few have survived and moved on.
While I didn't know Bob personally, we often exchanged emails. He always had a few hunches, theories. He knew that things weren't what they seemed on the surface. He took the time to speculate, investigate. We recently talked about the NYPD scooter patrol that swept through Tompkins Square Park a few Friday evenings ago ... From an email with his unmistakable writing style.
the friday patrol in TSP was a bit strange . The cops had white-shirts going thru the bushes and ground cover .Were they looking for cached weapons ?The officers that I talked to seemed to be instructed on how to present what they were doing .Basically they lied .
In his last email to me, on Sept. 19, we talked about his new-look NMNL, and the video component that he added.
I had to change the template to fit video image window. Screwed up my counter doing that , had to reinstall that . I would have preferred the old look but the video window protruded over the archive . Its always something .
Yeah I know I have to get a smart phone don't I ? Everyone tells me that they can't get hold of me right when they have a whim to talk to me and insist that I get a cell phone at least . .I don't even have a cell phone Grieve ..and I don't want one either but some folks are really pissed so...Perhaps I'll join Jewels on the SNAP program and get my free government phone!
If I can get the video thing so that it doesn't take forever to load I'll do it regularly .I once ran big film cameras and did editing with a moveola or what ever device was available .Built some sound studios and movie theaters and screaning rooms too. I have some old film from 1972 of the EV and especially avenue A.Haven't looked at it in many years .The moving image isn't new to me .Still pictures and moving images are quite different though. It will be a return to something that completely occupied me in my youth here in NYC.