Saturday, April 5, 2008

LES sen, what?!

<<flashes Rickey Henderson gang signs to no one in particular>>

I'm driving home from the fun job late last night- actually I was driving home from the bar at which I stopped after the fun job- and I'm trying to get to the Williamsburg Bridge. We natives should know that the way to get there on a weekend night is to approach from the west and be as far south- below Houston- as possible.

The bar was too far north and east, so I was shit out of luck. I bump up on the snarl on Third and bang a left...he, he, he, I'm going to be slick and go to Sec...wait, Second's probably going to suck, too, fuck it, let's keep going east. Ave A looks like shit. Oh man, I fucked up. Now I'm going into the crack den and I'm going to have to wheel back around. I should have just paid the fin and taken the Midtown.

So I get to Ave B and I cannot believe what I see: white people everywhere, holdin' the block down. Clubs, bars, more drunk white girls than Penn Station, looking for cabs...cabs come in here? At this point, I don't mind the crawl, so I roll down Ave B to check out the whole scene.

Alphabet City and LES were always rough and tumble neighborhoods. The boricuas used to hold down Alphabet City and some real bruhs ran the PJs in LES, but were talking 120 years of ghetto, going way back to when the Italians and Jews rolled there. There were a few hangout spots down there for the brave souls. But, back in my formative years- when Dinkins was Mayor- all I would see down there were crackheads.

Now, I play soccer down there, so I'm not exactly oblivious to the ongoing gentrification. The Village Voice sign atop a building on Bowery and Kenmare says it all: "Welcome to McHattan." A previous sign read, "Where have all the crack whores gone?"

Still, I've recently been on Ave C and it doesn't look all that cleaned up. It's sill looking almost like the barrio. I didn't realize that they've done a job on Ave B, so I was caught flatfooted. I figure that, even 10 years ago, there's no way that these people could last a hot minute after dark down there. 20 years ago? Fuckin' fuggedabadet, they'd have been hacked up and the crackheads would have smoked what wasn't sold for scrap.

It goes back to an earlier post, where I explained how the town's been made safe for these pikers. New York, NY, a hell of a town. It's crazy what they've done with the place...and they're just getting around to knocking down all the dumps and throwing up "luxury" condos. Luxury LES...go figure.

It really didn't take that long to get home.

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