Posts Tagged ‘Avenue D’

Soda and smack on Avenue D

November 7, 2009

Suburban drug-seeking kids of the 1980s: the cops from the East Village’s Ninth Precinct never believed your stories of randomly getting mugged on Avenue D on your way back to Great Neck.

Here’s what one detective had to say to The Soho News on March 16, 1982:

SodaonAvenueD

Later in the article, the reporter quotes another cop calling Avenue D “the world’s largest retail drug market.” 

The turbulent history of Tompkins Square

January 17, 2009

This photo, from John Gruen’s The New Bohemia, shows a snow-covered, placid Tompkins Square Park in the early 1960s. No hipsters or crusties; no playgrounds or dog runs either.

There’s St. Brigid’s Church on Avenue B in the back. The statue of post-Civil War Congressional Rep. Samuel Cox is in the foreground. And you can just make out the shadows of the then-new housing projects on Avenue D. 

tompkinssquareparkTompkins Square is quiet and lovely these days, but it’s been the scene of some pretty bloody riots since it opened in 1850. Food shortages and unemployment prompted demonstrations in 1857; the deadly 1863 Draft Riots spilled into Tompkins Square as well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then came the Tompkins Square Riot. In 1874, thousands of workers gathered at the park to protest poor economic conditions brought on by the Panic of 1873. Police on horseback fought back the crowds by beating them with clubs, as illustrated below.

1874tompkinsriot

A new round of Tompkins Square riots pitting cops against protesters started up again in the late 1980s and early 1990s—another period of economic recession.