Thanks to Stan Banos for contributing this personal reflection on Ken Schles’ ‘Invisible City’. Stan’s ‘Reciprocity Failure’ is a must read and can be found over here.
Like Cafe Lehmitz, I’m glad someone not only made the effort- but actually succeeded in successfully capturing this part of town, this part of time that existed in all its brief wonder and tragedy. Loisaida was in constant motion in the late 70′s, early 80′s, evolving (or devolving) from a culturally heterogeneous, junkie laden, cheap rent district of promise, hope and energy into that of a gentrified homogeneity of yuppies, condos and crack. In a half dozen brief years, the place was transformed from a place fueled by the spirit and fire of punk, new wave and the very beginnings of rap, to a veritable laughing stock where practically every other neighborhood storefront and bodega was transformed overnight into fledgling art galleries by trust fund, wannabe gallerists. Their “galleries” lasted about as long as your average punk set at CB’s, but the blight upon the neighborhood was permanent. The Ramones had somehow mutated into Madonna.
I remember someone wrote a book called ‘It Was Gonna To Be Like Paris’. If only. Thanks for the memories Ken.