gone are the days of New.   York.   City.  no patti smiths or andy warhols. no basquiats looking out of  their second floor window of a stable owned by andy warhol. i walk by it almost every day and imagine seeing basquiat through that same window. he isn’t there. no one is. it’s a high-end shop of some kind now. i wonder why. why doesn’t someone live in that house. how much is it worth.

bowie’s off lafayette and the ramones aren’t at cbgb’s. 

apartments aren’t going for $10 in alphabet city anymore. the sunshine hotels are gone. ginsberg’s not passing me on the street. debbie harry’s nowhere. 


jun19. new york city


  1. I’m with your general sentiment, and like the pics. I might just note that both Warhol and Basquiat were rich, and Warhol famously argued that “making money is the best art”. Basquiat came from a family with money, and his paintings were selling for tens of thousands a pop in his short lifetime. Warhol could afford to operate “The Factory” and hire artisans to make his art for him. He was loaded.

    But, yes, the ultra-rich are pricing out everyone else.

    1. Thanks, Eric. Of course they were rich once they became successful. So was Smith, Debbie Harry, Ginsberg. That wasn’t my point. They also had patrons, they were never going to go hungry, as much as their bios try to emphasize their ‘starving 60s.’ My point was, coming from a purely personal nostalgic view (I lived on 1st avenue between 7th & St. Mark’s in 2011) – the feelings I have are being conjured up on my solitary early morning walks from the East Village to Midtown every day. I was just sharing my feelings of a loss of gritty distinction. There was a gritty current that distinguished New York City from any other place in the world.
      These thoughts and feelings come from me, who has walked the early morning streets of London, Paris, and Berlin and have felt similar waves of nostalgia hearkening my soul back to a time of artistic gangsterism, where artists just bountifully created, that was their sustenance, and this lifestyle reverberated throughout society and made the cities what they were. I feel it sliding away, the grit, the distinction, and I lament these cookie-cutter dwellings that lack stories.

      1. I think your intent came through, and my comment is, how shall we say it, an ancillary aside. Money may have killed the NY you loved, and it killed the art world as well, but the model of the super rich artist that pays assistants to make his art for him belongs to Warhol, and was handed down to Hirst and Koons, the two richest living artists. Most living artists are priced out of the game by Warhol’s legacy. One of Basquiat’s paintings recently broke records for highest selling painting for a modern artist, or something like that. These two have come to represent the biggest money in art. A separate issue. Just something living artists have to deal with. Doesn’t change or diminish your content in any way. I think I agree with you about the rich cultural atmosphere being lost. I apologize for going off on a not entirely related tangent.

  2. The “Rich Killd NY” vandals defaced a community mural in Flatbush. Doubtless these fuckwits have MFAs from Ivy league schools, and the *best of intentions*, but seeing their smug sentiment on mural that our young people created (and that even the most prolific taggers in our neighborhood respect!) manages to enrage me every time I see it.

  3. These assholes who spray “The Rich Killd NY” have no respect for the local communities they deface. I don’t care how better educated, or wealthier they are than me and my neighbors (Flatbush), when they come into my community and spraypaint their banal, “woke” sayings over our community’s artwork, they are nothing more than cultural dilettantes and assholes. May they one day understand what their vandalism does to the communities they inflict it upon.

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