Showing posts with label Eddie Boros. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eddie Boros. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Eddie Boros returns to 5th Street

Noah Scalin created this painting of Eddie Boros (RIP 2007) and the Tower of Toys (RIP 2008) outside Lavagna on Fifth Street and Avenue B as part of the 100 Gates Project.

Boros — “a charismatic, sometimes cantankerous artist,” per the The New York Times — lived his entire life in an apartment across the street. Some of his art is still on the walls at Sophie's down the street.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where Eddie's Tower of Toys once stood

As you probably remember, workers dismantled The Tower of Toys — created by Eddie Boros in the community garden at Sixth Street and Avenue B — back in May 2008.

Earlier this fall, a new arbor went up very near where Eddie's iconic tower once stood. Seeing this new structure gives me pause every time.

I keep waiting for this to get taller... with the addition of stuffed animals and what not ... But this structure is nice and clean and functional... and not much to look at... kind of like parts on NYC today...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One year ago today: The Tower of Toys begins to vanish

Was one year ago today that the iconic Tower of Toys officially came down in the community garden at Sixth Street and Avenue B.

Jeremiah broke the story about the Tower's demise.

One last reminder of the Tower remains today: a sticker honoring its creator, the late Eddie Boros.

For further reading.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Everything has a price. Everything except outsider eccentricity, which evidently is bad for business"

Excellent essay in New York magazine by Jerry Saltz on the Tower of Toys (RIP).

On the tower's creator, Eddie Boros:

He was a fixture in a neighborhood of human fixtures, a reminder that the East Village was still marginal, where odd things were normal and normalcy was odd.

On art and gentrification:

It wasn’t beautiful, but it was beautifully eccentric, part of a folk-art tradition put together from the detritus and wreckage of once-raggedy neighborhoods by individuals working on the edge of society. Adam Purple’s glorious “Garden of Eden” on Eldridge Street was torn down in 1986; the metal-sculpture garden on Avenue B and East 2nd was evicted in 1995. And last week, the Tower of Toys came down. All of these projects, and others elsewhere in the city, served as demarcation lines, stopgaps against encroaching gentrification. Now there aren’t any peripheries in Manhattan, and there are few anywhere in the city. Everything has a price. Everything except outsider eccentricity, which evidently is bad for business.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"They tore it down. They tore it down. They tore it down."

Indeed. That's what a man remarked (over and over) this morning as he walked by the rubble that used to be the Tower of Toys in the community garden at 6th Street and Avenue B.

As you can see, there's not much left.

Wishful thinking.

The dumpster is full.

At least someone looks to be saving some of the toys from Eddie's creation.

Meanwhile, one-plus block to the east, as icons fall...

[Updated, 11:06 a.m.: Perhaps you'd like to go visit the Toyota Children’s Learning Garden at 603 East 11th Street, via Curbed.]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Tower of Toys lives for one more day (part of the Tower, anyway)

Well, it looks like Eddie's iconic tower will be up for at least one more day. I was there just after 6 tonight. There was a light rain. A few people scurried by, cursing that they didn't have an umbrella. I stood there for a few minutes. Depressed. A woman came by and stopped. "They're really taking it down, huh?" It wasn't really a question she wanted answered. "Fuck." And she walked away.

Was happy to come home and read Jeremiah's account on how the Tower was suitably stubborn earlier today while the city continued to tear it down.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Tower of Toys is coming down

I left work a little early today to swing by the community garden at 6th Street and Avenue B. As Jeremiah noted earlier today, the city started removing the iconic Tower of Toys that was created by Eddie Boros some 20-plus years ago. I walked by around 5:30. Work was done for the day. The garden was locked up. The dumpster sat alone. No one was milling about. In the 10 or so minutes that I stood there, not one person stopped or even paused to look at what was left. I guess I was expecting more of a scene.

Meanwhile, I can't tell how much has been removed. (Hmm...20 feet? It's roughly 65 feet tall.) Whatever, there's a lot of work left when the destruction returns tomorrow morning.

Curbed has more photos from the afternoon here.

All this made me want to watch the opening to "NYPD Blue" again...right before James McDaniel gets his intro...

Earlier on EV Grieve:
"This is one of the last vestiges of the anarchistic, crazy Lower East Side"

Sunday, May 11, 2008


There 's an Informal Celebration of the Tower of Toys tonight from 7-9 at the 6th Street and Avenue B Community Garden.

The Villager has an article about it this week.

[Props to Jeremiah for having the original scoop. He has an update here.]

I'd love to be there, but I'll be far away at a family function. I look forward to hearing about it.

(And if you're new to all this, swing by Sophie's to take a look at some of his other pieces of art.)

Meanwhile, Alex has a great post at Flaming Pablum on another iconic piece of Avenue B that disappeared some 13 years ago....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"This is one of the last vestiges of the anarchistic, crazy Lower East Side"

Jeremiah has the scoop that the Tower of Toys is coming down at the community garden at Sixth Street and Avenue B. This, of course, is the work of the late Eddie Boros, a lifelong resident of the East Village...not to mention a legendary regular at Sophie's. (A lot of his artwork still adorns the bar.) Mrs. Grieve and I just had a conversation about the tower over the weekend. The garden had an open, uh, garden on Saturday and Sunday. In the short time that I was there, I'd say some 20 tourists walked by and took admiring photos of Eddie's creation. However much we liked the sculpture, we wondered how much longer it would be part of the garden. (Eddie passed away in April 2007.) For starters, there was the community garden politics: Many people involved there hated the thing. Here's an article from The New York Times dated Nov. 22, 1998, by Karen Angel:

Junk Art Roils a Garden
The junk sculpture on Sixth Street and Avenue B looms above the surrounding tenements like a psychedelic treehouse. From its limbs of raw lumber hang a huge headless Godzilla, a gold mannequin with a horse's head, stuffed animals and other motley objects. For the community garden that houses Eddie Boros's growing sculpture, it has become a source of controversy along with the artist himself, a self-described alcoholic and trash picker who finds his materials in garbage cans and Dumpsters.

Mr. Boros, 66, began building on a 4-by-8-foot garden plot about 15 years ago, as a form of protest. He had been using the vacant land to make carvings, and when the Sixth and B Community Garden was organized, the founders wanted to relegate him to one plot. "I decided to build a little open shed," he said. "I was going up 10 feet, and something started in me. I went up 15 feet, 25 feet." Now the sculpture is about 65 feet tall and occupies six garden plots, and he plans to take it 5 feet higher.

"Eddie is building out of anger," said David Rouge, a founder of the garden. "He has never accepted the authority of the garden." Seven years ago Mr. Rouge led an unsuccessful effort to evict the sculpture. He had to settle for a ruling that forbade Mr. Boros from making it bigger. But Mr. Boros follows his muse, not the ruling.

The sculpture often elicits debate among garden members. "There are these wild raucous meetings with screaming," said Karen Schifano, founder of the garden's mediation committee.

Jimmy Dougherty, a garden member and a film maker, said that most members are defenders of the sculpture. "People are either repulsed by the sculpture, or they think it's beautiful," said Mr. Dougherty, who did a documentary about Mr. Boros that was broadcast on PBS stations this year. Because the sculpture elicits such strong reactions, he said, "it's a successful art piece."

Mr. Boros often climbs to the top of his sculpture. "He sits up there like a pirate in a crow's-nest surveying the neighborhood," Ms. Schifano said. "This is one of the last vestiges of the anarchistic, crazy Lower East Side."

(Here's another piece on Eddie from the Times.)

As Jeremiah notes, you can pay your respects: "Before it's gone, come to An Informal Celebration of the Tower of Toys, Sunday, May 11, 7pm - 9pm at the 6th Street & Avenue B Community Garden."

Anyway, another day, another piece of the neighborhood's soul is lost.

[A reader on Curbed pointed out this video from 1988:]