Gavin Doyle Zac Posen and Susan Kirshbaum
Tonight at 6 p.m. at the Bowery Poetry Club, Susan Kirschbaum will read from her debut novel, “Who Town.” The book is drawn from Ms. Kirschbaum’s experiences over the past 15 or so years in New York: after moving from a middle-class Philadelphia suburb, she covered the downtown scene for The Times, The New York Observer, The Huffington Post and others. Now in her late 30s, Ms. Kirschbaum is the rare reporter who became part of her stories, dating band members and artists and hanging out with the crowd she was supposed to cover. She told The Local about her downtown-centric writing life, and how Candace Bushnell, the author of “Sex and the City,” started it all.
When you came to New York, what was the Lower East Side and East Village scene like?
I got to New York in the late ’90s, when the Beahver parties were raging at Don Hills and junkies still roamed Alphabet City. A lot of young artists still lived in the East Village and bars like 7A and 2A raged late at night. I also remember going to poetry slams in Tompkins Square Park. Read more…
Good morning, East Village.
The Times looks back on what made Lakeside Lounge so special (“once, while Joey and Dee Dee Ramone played, audience members watched the police raid a nearby crack house and line suspects up against the picture window beside the stage”) and gives a clue as to why it’s closing at the end of the month: “[Owner Eric] Ambel said rent and expenses had more than quadrupled since the mid-1990s, forcing him and Mr. Marshall to face the prospect of deviating from the formula that had served Lakeside, its musicians and its patrons so well.” According to WNYC, the rent was $9,000 a month.
Flaming Pablum uses the closing of Lakeside as an excuse to look back on five other bygone dive bars, including Alcatraz on St. Marks Place, an “endearingly seedy joint that catered to acolytes of all things loud, boozy and rude.”
With the average rent in Manhattan at $3,418 a month and the vacancy rent at just 1 percent despite the lagging economy, The Times lays down some real talk: “For those who find buying a home in New York City is not an option — whether because of bad credit, tougher lending standards or lack of a down payment — the choices are limited and often unappealing.” If you are buying, the Daily News points out that there are still deals to be found in the Lower East Side. Read more…