Category Archives: East Village

HUNG by Peter Nolan Smith

The Village in New York had always attracted a kaleidoscope of radical, deviant, and perverse characters considered abhorrent by mainstream America. The Reds gave way to the beatniks. They evolved into the hippies, who surrendered the counterculture ghetto to the junkies, artists, punks and sexual revolutionaries of the 1970s. In 1977 I lived on East […]

WHY I MISS JUNKIES by Peter Nolan Smith

(published in OPEN CITY MAGAZINE 2002) Most New Yorkers depend on air-conditioning to survive the heat waves of summer, however AC always felt to me, as if a dirty old man from the Arctic was breathing down my neck, who wasn’t Santa Claus. Truthfully I actually liked the heat and any temperature under 92 was […]

Best Punch At CBGBs

Back in the 1970s CBGBs was a rough bar. The Hell’s Angels frequented the Bowery bar and no one challenged their claim to the punk rock venue, since the Angels scared off other asshole bikers, although not every night. In 1978 a packed house of garage rock fans greeted the Cramps’ debut and the Akron […]

Poppers ReDux

Jan. 2 1979 Suicide was headlining CBGBs. The duo weren’t for everyone, but the screaming fury of Alan Vega and monotonal drone of his keyboard player Martin Rev were an effective remedy for a long holiday of drinking, especially if the holidays were not ready to call it quits. My hillbilly girlfriend was in West […]

LOST BY THE EIGHT BALL by Peter Nolan Smith

None of the cops from the 9th Precinct were happy about the closing of the basement bar next to their station house in the summer of 1980. Even fewer were excited by its re-opening as a French bistro. Evelyn’s Bistro was another sign that the East Village was giving way to a new crowd. Not […]