10.31.2007

The New BAD (Bowery art district) Springs Up Along Bummer Street

WOTBA (Walking Off the Big Apple) wishes you a Happy Halloween, and I would like to send a special All Hallow's Eve greeting to all the gallerists of the new BAD (Bowery art district).

As all-in-the-know are aware, the Bowery has recently awakened from its famed languid derelictions to embrace the life-affirming values of art. On the side streets of NoLita and the Lower East Side, galleries big and small jockey for positions around the New Museum's big ghost mothership on the Bowery. Essex, Eldridge, Rivington, Spring, Greene, Chrystie - yes, all these streets come together to form the BAD.

Artists and writers have lived along the Bowery for a long time, and I'll cite just one example here. 222 Bowery, a loft coop between Spring and Prince, is home to all sorts of fascinating living people, but among its deceased denizens we can count the likes of Fernand Leger, Mark Rothko, and William Burroughs.

Everyone, including WOTBA, is sad about last year's closing of The Bowery's famed punk palace, CBGB's. But life is looking up along Bummer St, the heart of the melancholy district, with BAD.

WOTBA has an idea. If the Bowery is the new Chelsea, then it needs its own High Line. Let's rebuild the old Third Avenue El along the street, convert it immediately to a rails-to-trails project and then plant some native grasses along the new BAD high line. Here's our marketing slogan: "Down on the Bowery, we know how to get high."

Image: See the famed film of the Third Avenue El from the 1950s (before the line was demolished) HERE. Internet Archive.

See the complete walk here.

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