RIP Lower East Side Man in White, ‘Jimmy Blanco’

Posted on: January 18th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

It’s a sad day for the Lower East Side.

Jimmy Becker, known colloquially as “Jimmy Blanco” for perennially roaming the streets dressed in all white, passed away this week after a battle with Lymphoma. It’s believed he was about 69 or 70.

Apparently, a neighbor in his building called EMS a couple weeks ago after discovering Becker lying on the floor in a coughing fit. He was admitted to the hospital, and turns out he actually had advanced-stage Lymphoma.

Becker was laid to rest Wednesday at Cresswood Funeral Home on West 43rd Street.

A longtime resident of upper Orchard Street, Jimmy “Blanco” Becker attended NYU before succumbing to mental illness at some point in his mid-twenties. According to one of his neighbors, his ability to live in the apartment was owed to an arrangement between his parents and the landlord.

Through it all, Becker was lucky to have a tight-knit group of people looking out for him. A network of social service providers and friends he knew from college who also lived in the building enabled him to live a life of unusual freedom for someone so severely affected by mental illness.

Rest In Peace.

Recent Stories

I May Survive Coronavirus, but My Friendships Won’t [OP-ED]

While I may survive the COVID-19 pandemic, some of my friendships won’t. As xenophobia grips the masses, racist attacks and harassment against Asians are on the rise at home and abroad. While many would condemn attacks or harassment on social media platforms, how many would intervene when it involves friends? Sadly, my guess is probably not […]

Tenement Museum Faces ‘Extraordinary Crisis’ Amidst COVID-19 Shutdown

The Tenement Museum is struggling to stay afloat, as the COVID-19 shutdown eliminated foot traffic and steady funding. Since closing to the public on March 14, the Lower East Side museum laid off 13 full-time employees (out of 66) – mostly from marketing, visitor services, and gift shop – and told another 40 not to […]

Grindr Date at Baruch Houses Gone Awry as Man Robbed with Taser, Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

A man was threatened with a taser and robbed in the Baruch Houses this week after a Gindr meetup gone awry, police said. The victim had been corresponding with another man on the Grindr dating app, and arranged an early-morning meetup at the Baruch Houses on March 23. (Nevermind, COVID-19.) At 7:30am, the victim arrived […]

Bowery Mission Serving Daily Meals to those in Need, Rain or Shine

While thousands across the city are isolating at home, there are others who don’t have many – if any – options for food or shelter during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bowery Mission is helping to curtail that by handing out meals to people at their Bowery site. Earlier this week, staff and volunteers distributed “to-go” […]

In Memoriam: Big Steve of East 3rd Street

A fixture on the Lower East Side for decades, Juan “Stevie” Guzman passed away last week of heart complications. He was kind, gentle and hilarious. Affectionately known as “Lil’ Steve,” and later, “Big Stevie,” he and his family lived on East 3rd Street and First Avenue since the 1960s. Many of of his relatives still […]