[Rather random photo of 2nd Avenue by EVG the other morning]
From the EVG inbox...
I am a dedicated reader and appreciator of your blog. I am also 21, have lived in the neighborhood for less than two years, and am, in the eyes of many, part of the East Village's central problem. I have always wanted to voice my opinion on this matter, as it is one on which I feel very strongly, and such a feeling is only ever heightened after I read the many user comments on Grieve.
I recognize fully how the influx of young, yuppie college students and 20-somethings has dramatically altered the neighborhood, but I want to defend myself and say that while I can easily be grouped into this category (and I'm not arguing it — 21-year-old NYU student living in an over-priced apartment that still happens to be cheaper than living in an NYU dorm), I have found myself resenting this more and more.
Before I moved into an apartment (versus a dorm) in the East Village, I did my research. I investigated the shady and unlawful landlords, corrupt management companies to avoid, the best small businesses around the apartments I was considering, and the like.
As an 11th Street resident, I protested 7-Eleven when it arrived, I devote all my business to the local deli beneath my apartment, and I agree that many things happening in this neighborhood regarding rent, landlords, what have you, are truly absurd.
However rambling this may seem, I just want to give a voice to those younger residents who consider themselves to be on the same page. We are not all the same — I don't get belligerently drunk and hang off of fire escapes, I don't scoff at the rent-stabilized tenants in my building, I don't ignore my super and the other supers on the block. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I recognized immediately upon moving here that in order to make the most of the two years I'd be spending on this street, I would have to earn some respect by developing relationships with the people who've been here the longest and are truly residents of this neighborhood.
I also recognized that this is, in many ways, just how the growth of a city unfolds. My entire family grew up in a building on Christopher Street beginning in the 1940s, and they were priced out far before gentrification was a term being thrown around. While I did not live through the gentrification of this neighborhood, I can appreciate the good and bad it has done.
All I am trying to say in the end is that I want to enjoy and appreciate the East Village's quirks and unique charm as much as those who have resided here for decades, not drunkenly puke all over them in the early hours of a Saturday morning.
11th Street Resident
We asked Olivia why she finally decided to write this. The post Monday about the "obnoxious drunk girl" who threw up in her lobby and left a note and the post from July 20 about the game of truth or dare that ended with a fall helped inspire her.