The above photo is from the EVG archives and isn't related to this story in the Times.
Over at The New York Times today, Julie Besonen writes about the East Village building that she has lived in since the 1990s... touching on some relatable themes — changing demographics and package thefts.
Package theft wasn’t an issue when I first moved in during the Grunge years, although crack vials routinely littered our stoop. Sleepy addicts sometimes blocked the door. But these entryway inconveniences were minor compared with the constant robberies, which rapidly escalated last year.And...
But back to 30 years ago: Aside from the stoop problem, our building was a neighborly haven, owned by the same family for generations and monitored by live-in supers, a couple from Malta named Agnes and Tony. Our ensemble of residents (Bill, Bob, John, Pat, Tom) worked unflashy jobs — mailroom clerk, museum guide and so on — and stayed for decades, giving me the chance to grow fond of them, including nuisances like Edith and Victor (secretary, janitor), who banged on my ceiling when my music blared. It only took them 14 years to trust me enough to water their plants when they traveled.
The poignant exodus of these characters, through death, eviction, buyouts and, most recently, the pandemic, made way for my current neighbors, variously named Summer, Kennedy, Madison, Kayleigh, Mackenzie, Hannah and Charity. They pay rents that seem exorbitant, upward of $4,000 in some cases, reflecting the East Village’s own hypergentrification.However, as Besonen writes, the spate of pandemic-era package thefts helped her forge a bond with her new, younger neighbors.
Ralitsa Kalfas, 23 ... found an empty cardboard box instead of winter coats and sweaters sent to her from her family. A vintage jacket that once belonged to her grandmother was stolen too. My empathy for these young women grew, realizing they weren’t that different from me when I first moved to New York, my shyness sometimes interpreted as unfriendliness.You can read the full piece here.