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RIP Lower Eastside Clubs (and NYC clubs?)

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Thursday, Mar 29, 2007

The ever-hungry beast of gentrification has claimed two more New York clubs: Sin-E and Tonic.  Great clubs and music institutions for sure (especially loved the wine-keg tables at the Sub-Tonic and was honored to do a reading at Sin-E).  Now they’ll make way for expensive housing.  And this just months after CGBG’s bit the dust.  Incredibly, just to appear as contrary (which is usually Slate’s job), the New York Times ran a piece at the time of CB’s closing explaining how the NYC music scene is actually thriving.  Dream on.  Anything that’s not turned into a condo or NYU housing will likely become a boutique store here in Gotham as this trend continues.  Add this up with the cabaret crackdowns and it’s obvious that NYC is not a place that’s friendly to small clubs anymore as we’re running out of affordable neighborhoods for artists and club owners- the end result will be that we’ll suffer a creative drain as artists look for more reasonable housing and supportive towns and cities elsewhere.  NYC is turning more and more into a playground for six-figure yuppies and providing no breathing room for the middle class.  The best I’ve heard this dire situation summed up is in a letter than I quoted from a CBGB’s article I wrote for Popmatters:


“I don’t understand why New Yorkers are so casual while our politicians destroy every landmark they can…. Nothing is safe… No wonder everyone says NYC is dead and it’s all mall-culture now.” —Shauna Erlbaum, letter to AM New York about CBGB’s closing, October 19, 2006

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