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