Viewfinder | Vivienne Gucwa

Vivienne Gucwa discusses photographing the ever-changing landscape of the East Village.

La Plaza Cultural Community Garden, Alphabet City, Lower East Side 15

“I started documenting my walks around New York City neighborhoods in an effort to capture the evolving landscape of the city. The East Village is a place that I spend a tremendous amount of time in and it’s a neighborhood which embodies this constant evolution.”

East Village 163

“The East Village possesses a vibrancy that is often hard to express in words. This photo for me encapsulates this vibrancy that reverberates in the every day. It was shot quickly and yet in the process of editing, I find it speaks volumes and translates the emotional response I had to this particular everyday scene.”

Alphabet City, Lower East Side, New York City 90

“This was taken during one of my walks. There is something so typical about this scene and yet there is a cinematic element to it as well. This transformative juxtaposition represents the overall feel of the East Village.”

Alphabet City, Lower East Side, New York City 78

“There is also a whimsical element that seems to dominate even the most overlooked places. In a previously empty lot, new artistic life spawns.”

Alphabet City, Lower East Side, New York City 3

“In between apartment buildings, trees pop out from a garden.”

The Secret Garden, Alphabet City, Lower East Side 5

“Alphabet City’s Community Gardens are an excellent example of the constant evolution of the city. This is, for me, an excellent testament to what has made the East Village such an inspiring and great place. This photo was taken in the Secret Garden Community Garden at East Fourth Street and Avenue C.”

La Plaza Cultural Community Garden, Alphabet City, Lower East Side 15

“This is La Plaza Cultural Community Garden located at Ninth Street and Avenue C.”

East Village, New York City 356
Alphabet City, Lower East Side, New York City 91

“In allowing myself to view the city with fresh eyes, I have really come to love that on every street there is a distinct narrative at any given time. There are gorgeous snippets of streets in the East Village which at times resemble any other street scene in a European city. These quaint scenes often exist down the street from an abandoned lot or even next to a newer storefront or even a neighborhood dive bar. It’s the mesh of these visual cues that lend the East Village its spark.”

Mars Bar, East Village 6

“The East Village is not without its icons. Mars Bar is one of those icons which teem with personality. It’s a testament to days gone by and stands as a colorful reminder that while change is often inevitable, some things remain the same which is comforting.”

Yaffe Cafe, New York City 2

“Yaffa Cafe is another East Village icon. Much like Mars Bar, it also teems with personality and it has remained on a strip which has changed a great deal over the past decade. It’s a remnant of the St. Marks which existed prior to its current incarnation.”

Vivienne Gucwa is a community contributor to The Local East Village. Her work can be seen regularly on her blog.