“East Village galleries are multiplying like white rats,” wrote Carlo McCormick in the East Village Eye in October 1983.
“What was once a small handful of peculiarly out-of-place storefronts that even this rag ignored is now an ever-increasing network of more credible and slicker galleries being written about by the likes of the Voice, the N. Y. Times, Art News, Arts Magazine, and Art in America plus a host of Japanese and European magazines that always seem to know what’s going on here before we do.”
While the 1980s East Village art scene went bust before it could live up to the promise laid out in the article, this accompanying map gives a small sense of the neighborhood 31 years ago.
Another East Village Eye guide from 1985 runs down the club scene and bars where you’d be drinking if you lived there in the Reagan era.
Hmm, how many of these addresses are now fro-yo shops or bank branches?