Wednesday, June 06, 2007

googlemaps streetview in Loisaida

I was able to see my old place at 647 E. 11th St. on Google Maps Street View. I had wanted to see this place again sometime and thought of asking someone to take a picture. I checked out zooomer a few times. I didn't expect Google to do this. My room in the top corner of this walk up had a great view of the World Trade Center. Most of the surrounding buildings were burned-out and/or abandoned in 1981. There used to be a fire burning in a steel drum near the corner where a lookout kept watch. The door was plexiglass painted black with another guy there to ask to see your tracks. The users bought the junk on the steps and sometimes shot up there, too. I think the rent was around $200-something a month this deep into Alphabet City, while over on 1st Ave or Avenue A a studio would run closer to $800 or $1000. A friend and I shared it. There were 2 bedrooms. We furnished the place with discarded furniture we lugged up the stairs, such as a sofa with a broken leg and a heavy hardwood chest of drawers that would later fly out of the window in a gravitational experiment that reduced it to chopsticks and axhandle-sized fragments. We were not mugged but burglarized a few times before the place caught fire for the second time, and part of the (slate!) stairs collapsed. With six(?) flights of stairs, many of which were missing, and some landings missing, too, I moved out to my girlfriend's place before concluding that Manhattan was not a good place for me to be at that time (if not a hopeless hellhole unfit for human habitation).

So this area of the East Village or Loisaida looks quite different now with what appears to be functioning cars parked on the street and actual trees growing there. There had been some trees in the project thing across C and community gardens at C and 10th St. The population of the city has risen but I wonder if it makes even less sense to live in Manhattan now than it did then.

What are the rental prices now? Maybe $1600 to $3000 a month?

No comments: