NauenThen

By way of contrast

September 4, 2014

Tags: The Ezra Pound

Not Idaho!
A photo of the front door of my building, The Ezra Pound, circa 1980, was made into a postcard. Our entryway is dark and looks commercial, so our super put that sign up. Oddly enough, it worked.

We have a yuppified door these days, and the liquor store on the corner is long gone. The drunks who once used our stoop as a toilet have given way to frat boys who might, but so far haven't done the same.

I don't miss that aspect of the East Village, but I do miss the anarchic 1970s, when we were our own little enclave of artists & families, scorned by the more settled areas. It felt more like a neighborhood because you only came here if you lived here.

Moral equity

July 18, 2014

Tags: The Ezra Pound

The Ezra Pound from across First Avenue (note the rare yellow neon in the Gringer's sign)
I may not own my apartment or the building it's in, but having lived there for 37+ years gives me moral equity. It's my home. It belongs to me emotionally, physically, atmospherically—just not legally.

I say this thinking about how my neighborhood, the East Village, has been eaten up by real estate interests, driving out poor and working and middle-class people. Many of my friends are harassed by their landlords, who would love to "renovate" their apartments then lease them for 3x or 4x as much rent. How can that be right? (more…)