Sunday, August 29, 2010

"In many ways, we can see a reflection of ourselves in them — though many people wouldn’t say that"

I spend a lot of time over at Crustypunks ... which I wrote about earlier this summer... The site is the work of Steven Hirsh, a photographer and East Village resident who teaches at Pratt ... In The Villager this week, Lincoln Anderson pens an in-depth look at Hirsch's site...

As well as sympathizing with the crusties, Hirsch ardently opposes gentrification.

My opinion — the grungier, the better,” he said. “I don’t want the neighborhood to be yuppiefied like Carroll Gardens. When the place is like a movie set, where it’s so pristine, so sterile — it makes me want to puke.

“I’m an old-timer. People like me, we like this,” he said. “The park is funky. The park is cool. Does it offend yuppies? Maybe. I don’t know, I don’t care. They offend me. They caused rents to go up here to $2,500 or $3,000.”

Hirsch continues to add to his “Crusty Punks” blog, regularly posting new photos and profiles. In the end, the blog offers a window into a little-understood subculture, humanizing a group that many would choose to otherwise ignore or avoid.

“My opinion of them changed during the project,” he said. “I have a lot more respect for them. They have a lot to say, a lot of strength in their belief and doing what they do.

“They really show the humanity everybody has,” he said. “A lot of them are troubled, and that’s indicative of many people in society. In many ways, we can see a reflection of ourselves in them — though many people wouldn’t say that.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Looking at Crustypunks

[Photo by Steven Hirsch via Crustypunks]


blue glass said...

i've lived here a very long time, through many manifestations, and i do not see why a poor neighborhood has to be dirty - why low income folks have to put up with 24-hour-a-day drug supermarkets or lousy city services.
and it seems that in addition to displacement and expanded landlord greed, the only thing gentrification brings to a community is more bars, vomit and noise.
glorifying crusties and grunge is not going to keep rents down, it just attracts more antisocial lost children.

Ken Mac said...

blue glass is so right on. Though I prefer crustypunks (that's what you call them?) to drunks and fratboys calling like cattle at 4am outside of Off The Wagon, the worst watering hole in lower Manhattan. The punks are a quiet lot, by and large

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to bring these pieces of garbage back up? I thought the comments from the last posting made it clear how they are the worst part of this community (yes, even worse than the drunks and fratboys). Seeing their starving, pregnant dogs is proof enough that they are the lowest of the low.

glamma said...

crusties >>>> yuppies