John Strausbaugh has a good piece in the NYT on the storied history of the East Village -- the video segment is highly recommended as well. But the fact that it's being published in the "Weekend Explorer" section, complete with a downloadable audio walking tour, seems more than a little symptomatic of the forces that are killing the neighborhood, even as they exoticize what it used to be. Like Clayton Patterson says in the piece, "Now it’s the American Montmartre. Tourists come to see where that culture was."
Then I had a drink in a bar on the near-unrecognizable corner of my old block (3rd and B) where in the former haunt of masses of heroin dealers and consumers, I saw Sean Paul in a yellow Lamborghini convertible.