Richard Price Talks About the Lower East Side

Posted on: June 30th, 2010 at 6:22 am by

As previously reported, a smattering of local art houses across the Lower East Side are reinterpreting the neighborhood-specific Lush Life chapter by chapter.  The gallery exhibitions pretty much run through mid to late August.  And author Richard Price is capitalizing on all the recent press.

This image has been archived or removed.

Indeed, Price recently spoke with Artinfo about his pursuits, the gallery hop, and the neighborhood inspirations.  Herewith, some choice excerpts:

So I went down on this walking tour and what I saw was more of the same, advanced. And at the same time I saw stuff that gentrification will never touch. It’s pretty much the same, a couple more high rises than before. But, you know, by the nature of the neighborhood you can’t really do all that much to it. Except tear everything down that is six stories high and replace it with bigger buildings, but working within the buildings you can’t do that much because they were built the way they were built.

And…

Yeah, that was the tail end. It got a lot more dangerous in the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s, I guess until Giuliani took over the police department. It just descended into hard drugs, and it was always poor down there but then poor became violent, and poor became sort of drug mercenary. But, you know, there was always a beatnik presence down there, but I can’t imagine anybody walking on Ludlow Street in, say, 1976 and saying, “Oh man I gotta buy something here, this is going to be worth a lot of money.” I mean, there were lines going around the block to buy heroin in an apartment that today probably sells for about $2 million.

And the bitter truth…

Most artists I know can’t afford to live down there. Most artists who I know started moving out to Williamsburg and then when they couldn’t afford that started moving further out in Brooklyn. But the pattern is that the artists comes and the realtors come in and they jack up the rent based on the cachet given to it by the artists, and then the artists who gave it the cachet have to move out and the real-estate guys follow them there and they have to move out again and pretty soon everybody is living in the Atlantic Ocean.

[via EV Grieve]

Recent Stories

‘Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution’ Opens at the New-York Historical Society

For many who grew up in a certain era, the name Bill Graham sparks Proustian memories of life-changing rock-and-roll shows. And if you were in San Francisco or New York City, the music impresario’s Fillmore concert venues were the greatest places in the world to see live music. Starting in 1965, Graham was booking and […]

Delancey Street Bodega Robbed at Gunpoint, Suspects at Large

Police are after two men suspected of holding up a Delancey Street bodega at gunpoint. The robbery – caught on camera – happened shortly before 4:30pm at the N&N Delancey Smoke Shop near the southwest corner of Allen Street. One suspect asked the clerk for cigarettes, while the other reportedly demanded money with an assault […]

A Decade Later, the Lowline is Stopped in its Tracks

More than a decade after its conception, the ambitious Lowline project is kaput. Stopped in its tracks due to financial constraints, Crain’s reports. The founders of the $83 million subterranean park – Dan Barasch and James Ramsey – announced this week that the project is no longer viable. That despite years of neighborhood outreach, appearances […]

It’s Enough with the Film Crews in Chinatown [OP-ED]

For Chinatown, it’s a perfect storm. At a time when area businesses are reeling from the “Double-Whammy” of closed streets (due to the fire at 70 Mulberry) and tourists avoiding the area fearing Coronavirus, film productions are also taking away curbside parking. More than four blocks’ worth last Friday. Chinatown stores have long suffered a […]

‘Bulletin Broads’ Feminist Boutique Quits Prince Street

Update your bulletin board. The Bulletin Broads are through with Prince Street. The Brooklyn-based store and feminist collective lasted about three years at 27 Prince before its recent shutter. A poster taped to the window bids farewell to the neighborhood and spins the news. “Peace out, Nolita, it’s been real,” it reads. And also, that […]