A Tribute to the Legacy of New York’s Lower East Side

The Lower East Side: Mars Bar Secrets

The Lower East Side: Fuchsia

Roundball on West Fourth Street: Muscle Chests in Shadings of Gray

The Bowery: A Solitary Meal

The Bowery’s CBGB: R.I.P. Hilly

A Tribute to the Legacy of New York’s Lower East Side

Photography by:  Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

This multi-media piece on the legacy of New York’s Lower East Side, comprised of photographs, a slide show and a documentary short, initially appears to assume the form of a parody.  However, beneath the humorously droll surface of the composition, another layer reveals a more serious message.  It is a genuinely sincere remembrance for the spiritual heritage of New York City and  the Lower East Side before they were forever changed by the waves of rapid and often greedy gentrification, which took hold in the 1980s and quickly accelerated during the 2000s.  The energy and camaraderie of the people who over multi-generations banded together in the face of suffering and adversity is truly captivating.

Over the last 100 years, the East Village/Lower East Side neighborhood has served as the first home for cultural icons who have included financial barons, political leaders and national celebrities in the performing arts.  Andy Warhol and his Superstars, important folk, punk, rock, anti-folk and hip-hop music emerged from this area, as well as advanced education, organized activism, experimental theater and the Beat Generation.   Club 57, on St. Mark’s Place, was an important incubator for performance and visual art in the late 1970s and early 1980s, followed shortly by 8BC as the East Village art gallery scene helped to galvanize modern art in America, with such artists as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons exhibiting.  The East Village is also the setting for Jonathan Larson’s musical Rent, which is set in the early 1990s and follows a group of friends as they spend a year struggling against AIDS, poverty, and drug abuse.

I have documented elsewhere a historical review of the area’s contributions to the literary and performing arts, as well as the struggles which have been undertaken in recent years to keep the memories of its artistic gifts alive.

A Remembrance for the Legacy of New York’s Lower East Side

Slide Show: A Tribute to the Legacy of New York’s Lower East Side

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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