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All Krohn Up | Welcome to New York, Now Live

krohn2Dana Varinsky It was either this or a shot of him spinning the cube.

The college kids are back – in droves. Maybe you remember what it was like to be an innocent in the East Village. If not, meet Jonathan Krohn, a member of N.Y.U.’s class of 2016. Actually, you may already know him: he was a “Time 100” finalist at the age of 14, and just two years later wrote his second book, “Defining Conservatism.” His thinking has evolved since then, but like any freshman he’s still got a lot to learn. And you, oh jaded Villager, could learn a thing or two from him. Hence, his weekly column about life as a neighborhood newbie.

“Welcome to the East Village.” Something no one said to me when I first arrived here.

My first night in the East Village went a little something like this: About thirty minutes after I left my dorm on Third Avenue a balding, stocky middle-aged man attempted to get me to hold his keys, wallet, license, and wedding band in exchange for me paying him gas money. I ran off. An hour later I encountered a scantily clad woman (I was told she was a prostitute) who was very high. She rolled around on the ground, screaming that someone was coming for her, and threw her backpack into the little pond in the center of Washington Square Park. I left the park with some nice jazz musicians from Brooklyn who took me up MacDougal Street, where I was then hit on by a transsexual. I screamed at some point around there. We don’t have these things in the suburbs of Atlanta. Or at least, we don’t have all of them in one neat little area. Read more…

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Graduate

Woo!Peter Boothe

A few weeks ago, NYU seniors from Avenue D to West Fourth Street washed their greasy hair and used their parents’ credit cards to buy something nice-looking for the penultimate of college events — graduation. For what seemed like way too many days I stood in line behind glossy moms in white ankle pants at H&M, mingled with round, red-faced Dads on the F train, and dodged double decker tour buses barreling through my streets, working overtime to accommodate all of the neglected aunts and uncles.

I wanted to run and hide, not because I was jealous of all the checks being picked up by parents at Mercadito, nor because those parents then gave their little graduates some “beer money” before they stepped into a cab to retire to their Times Square hotel. Not even because I’m scared of other people’s grandmas (which I am).

No, I wanted to get the hell out of the East Village during those days because from what I could see, all parties involved with the occasion seemed extremely unhappy and unhopeful, both for their own futures and for the futures of everyone around them. Yes, even commencement speaker Bill Clinton.

It reminded me of the misery of my own college graduation. My Dad cried, which I thought was sweet, but my mother assured me he was having a reaction to looking at his bank account. Last week, when I saw a silver-haired man in a Pebble Beach baseball cap painfully clutching the brunch menu while waiting in a throng of other silver-haired men outside of Peels, I assumed it was a similar situation.
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