Come On, Let's Go.
15Sep/100

I Took The Shortcut


34 ½ St. Mark's Pl., 2005

Once in a while, I randomly encounter the artistic products of the East Village, the Manhattan neighborhood that just so happened to be my teenage stomping grounds and early-20s area of employment. The avant garde-ness had long died down by the time I got there; outside of roving bands of streetpunks, there wasn't much left to connect the turn-of-the-millenium Village to its glorious fin de siècle in the 1980s. The art scene was completing its migration into Brooklyn, where it still resides today. The old punk rock shops were being replaced, one-by-one, by Japanese restaurants and the drag queens gave way to NYU undergrads looking for something to wear to 80s night at the long-since-tamed Pyramid Club. Sure, you could always find traces of the old Village if you looked hard enough – hell I punched the clock at one of the last independent punk rock boutiques – but everyone knew that whatever it was the East Village ever was, whether personally or by hand-me-down memories, was in its death throes. And that's why it is always nice to see evidence that it was once more far-out that I could ever imagine. Like when I came across these videos by artist Tom Rubnitz. Camp, LSD and yesteryear's consumer culture all combine into … well … just have a look:

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