Sure, all of the cool, independent
shops, record stores
, restaurants, tattoo/piercing
studios are in the Village
. And it's nice to be within a few minutes walk from the art galleries
in the SoHo
area. Once upon a time, the Village was home to Kerouac
and an army of bohemians
, but things have changed
. Think of what the word "bohemian" really means... The whole world knows about Kerouac, Ginsberg
and Burroughs. In fact, they were in my eleventh-grade public school
english textbook. Brilliant, inspired work? IMHO
, yes. Still subversive? Apparently not.
I think that the real measure of a neighborhood is the people who live there, not its stores or its history or people that go there to get some shopping done. The truth is that there aren't any struggling poets that can afford to live in the village. Not even struggling poets that hold down nine-to-five dayjobs in the East Village can break the $2,000 mark. The truth is, most of the people that live in the Village are white collar professionals. The rest are generally students whose parents are backing them. Years and years ago, when mainstream people went out in search of a "cool" and "hip" place to live, the area's reputation as a haven for alternative ideas, people and culture did it in. Ironic, isn't it?
I'm probably going to take some heat for this write-up, but it accurately describes the current situation as described to me by many, many people who have lived there. Most of them have since moved away, unsuprisingly...