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The Cro-Mags, in Happier Times

Still steamed about that canceled Cro-Mags show? Bowery Boogie has a gallery of the band rocking out at CBGB in 2006 and Highland Ballroom in 2011. The photos, by Clayton Patterson, capture the raw energy that never made it to the stage on Friday due to an alleged knife attack by Harley Flanagan, a disgruntled founding member of the band.

A Word With the 23-Year-Old Curator of ’93 Til Infinity,’ Closing Tonight

Photo on 2012-05-31 at 18.11 #3(3)Clayton Patterson Jessie Mac

At 23, Jessie Mac is one of New York’s youngest curators. Tonight at 9 p.m., her third show at Gathering of the Tribes, “’93 Til Infinity,” closes with a party featuring a screening of “Captured,” the 2008 documentary about photographer, curator, and local historian Clayton Patterson. The exhibition features Mr. Patterson’s early-90s photos of the Lower East Side amid floor-to-ceiling graffiti work by Mint&Serf of the Peter Pan Posse art collective. Ms. Mac spoke with The Local about working with Steve Cannon, the founder of Tribes who is fighting to hold onto the space.


How did you wind up as curator of Tribes?


I started working at Tribes a year ago as an intern when I met Steve Cannon. We cut a deal: if he taught me to curate I would dedicate my time to Tribes. It’s a non-profit so Steve is always in need of an extra hand. I never thought a blind man would be my artistic mentor, but I honestly would not be a curator without him. He taught me everything I know in the New York art scene. When people ask how he feels about not knowing what’s on the walls in his own space he says I’m his eyes. But I would have no direction without him. Read more…

The May Day Riot of 1990: Ellen Moynihan Looks Back

Screen shot May Day 1990 by John Penley-04-30 at 7.33.36 PMJohn Penley

Before today’s May Day festivities kick off, let’s turn the clock back 22 years, to May 1, 1990. That’s when an affordable-housing festival in Tompkins Square Park ended in a riot in which 28 police officers were injured and 29 people – some of them activists, anarchists, and squatters who had participated in the better known riots two years earlier – were arrested.

In this account reprinted from Clayton Patterson’s book, “Resistance: A Radical Social and Political History of the Lower East Side,” Ellen Moynihan, a writer and photographer who lately has been documenting Occupy Wall Street, describes how the melee began, and offers historical context going back to the 1800s, when May 1 was the time when many Lower East Side tenement dwellers’ leases would expire, causing mass migration. Read more…

Billy Leroy and Friends Spend One Last Night in the Tent

Suzanne Rozdeba

The hand in formaldehyde, the dusty Styrofoam mannequins and the subway signs for sale were long gone. But last night Billy Leroy and around 200 friends celebrated the now-closed antique shop on the Bowery a final time, raising their beers inside the iconic tent that will soon be six feet under.

“It’s sad, but it’s a new beginning,” said Mr. Leroy, patting the coffin like an old friend as neighborhood characters like Clayton Patterson, director Jim Jarmusch and writer Anthony Haden-Guest mingled with the crowd. “It’s an outpouring of love. All of my friends are here. It’s really amazing. I didn’t realize how much people love this place.”

The love was not in short supply because Mr. Leroy’s eponymous shop on East Houston Street at Bowery, which he ran for 10 years, had to close on Jan. 1. In the place of the store will go a two-story development, though the story isn’t entirely tragic. The tent will be gone, but the landlord, Tony Goldman, has assured Mr. Leroy his store will have a space in the building when complete.

By 8 p.m. the tent was at capacity as old friends and the crew from Mr. Leroy’s upcoming film rocked out to the bands The Naked Heroes and The Virgins. Two hours later the funeral bash had spilled out to the sidewalk.

At one point Mr. Leroy — a raconteur if there ever was one — grabbed the mic and shared a tale from his tent’s glory days. “A homeless dude came into the store and he brought me some pieces of junk. I said, ‘Dude, I don’t want this crap. Bring me like a human head or something,’” he recalled. “The next week, he was on 12th Street and saw a beautiful trunk. He was going to bring me the trunk, but it smelled funny. Inside the trunk was a young lady, dead. He was going to bring her to me, but he freaked out, and the cops took the trunk. His name is Spider, and he’s probably slithering around here somewhere.”

Not surprisingly, that wasn’t the only example of gallows humor last night.
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The Day | ‘Legends of the Lower East Side’: The Coloring Book

NYPD freezing 12th Street for Obama's Gotham Bar and Grill dinnerScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

In case you missed it, President Obama’s motorcade rolled down East 12th Street last night, to the consternation of many. Above, Scott Lynch got a photo of preparations at University Place. According to City Room, more than 100 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators marched to the president’s next stop, the Sheraton Hotel in midtown, to protest a fundraising event there.

Back when The Local spoke to Clayton Patterson about his in-the-works anthology, “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side” (which ended up being successfully funded on Kickstarter), he showed off a mock-up of the “Legends of the Lower East Side” coloring book that he was working on with artists Troy Harris and Orlando Bonilla. The Villager has more about the project, and Bowery Boogie publishes some sample pages.

The Times reviews “Golem” at the Ellen Stewart Theater and opines that its “visual illusions feel far more magical than anything you’ll see in a Broadway blockbuster.” Read more…

At Vigil, Friends Plan to Memorialize Bob Arihood With Mural, Mosaic, and Music

A vigil in honor of Bob Arihood, the East Village photographer who died on Sept. 30, included notable neighborhood characters like Ray Alvarez of Ray’s Candy Store, Jim “Mosaic Man” Power, graffiti artist Chico, L.E.S. Jewels, activist and photojournalist John Penley, and documentarian Clayton Patterson.

Friends first packed into Lucy’s bar on Avenue A at 7 p.m., where Mike Falsetta, Mr. Arihood’s close friend, raised a glass. “To Bob,” he said, to which people cheered, “salud!” and “rest in peace,” and “you will be missed.” Friends and acquaintances of Mr. Arihood shared stories and expressed shock over his death. An hour later, the crowd moved down to Ray’s Candy Store, where about 60 people surrounded the candles and photos of Mr. Arihood placed at the storefront. Read more…

Clayton Reports From Wall Street

The neighborhood’s renegade documentarian, Clayton Patterson, filed a dispatch from the Occupy Wall Street protests to Bowery Boogie. In a photo essay, Mr. Patterson writes that he snapped pictures of an officer trying to start a fight with protestors as an excuse to lock them up. Other shots capture the tension between the police and protestors as Occupy Wall Street approaches its second week.

The Day | Irene Approaches, And Charlie Parker Festival is Swept Away

Astor PlaceScott Lynch

According to DNAinfo and other sites, including’s slow-moving Office of Emergency Management page, parts of the East Village are among the “Zone A” areas most at risk should Hurricane Irene strike Manhattan: “In the East Village, Zone A extends to Avenue D from East 4th Street to East 8th Street. From there, it extends to Avenue B up to 14th Street.” If evacuations are called for, shelters opening at 4 pm on  Friday include Seward Park High School (350 Grand Street) and Baruch College (East 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue). Hurricane or no hurricane, the Tompkins Square Park leg of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, on Sunday, has been canceled, according to a press release picked up by Brooklyn Vegan.

Both the Villager and EV Grieve have the latest on what the Parks Department is doing to fight the Tompkins Square Park rats. NY1 also ran a story, and shortly before 11 p.m. last night, The Local spotted “Inside Edition” filming a segment that a crewperson said would air in about two or three weeks. Neither More Nor Less has photos.

Amidst worries that the Free Willie Nelson has been parking in Park Slope lately, The Daily News profiles the iconic RV and its owner Ron Britt, who says he wanted the vehicle’s interior to feel “a little like a Texas whorehouse.” Read more…

Recalling A Couple’s Activism

When Paul and Monica Shay were gunned down July 2 in their country home in Montgomery County, Pa., it quickly became clear to those who knew the couple that their loss would be felt especially deep in the East Village.

What longtime friends remember most about the Shays — who lived on East 10th Street — is their roles as leaders in the fight for housing, which in the 1980’s and 90’s included frequent clashes with the police during demonstrations for the rights of squatters in and around Tompkins Square Park.

“There’s a short list of people who when they say, ‘let’s do something,’ they mean they’re going to do it,” said Seth Tobocman, an activist artist and friend of the Shays.

“Kathryn and Paul were always on that list,” he continued, referring to Ms. Shay by her nickname.

Since the shooting, crowds of friends and neighbors have twice gathered publicly to remember the Shays, most recently July 9 in Tompkins Square Park.

Ms. Shay died July 7, while Mr. Shay remains hospitalized and in critical condition. Three other victims include Mr. Shay’s nephew Joseph Shay, the younger Mr. Shay’s girlfriend Kathryn Erdmann, and her 2-year-old son Gregory Erdmann. Ms. Erdmann and the elder Mr. Shay are the lone survivors.
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