Sue Ann Harkey >> Lower East Side – 1980’s

Photographer: Sue Ann Harkey



It is hard to imagine the Lower East Side of today as the
Frontier/Frontline it was in the 1980’s. The Lower East Side of that era
was ground-zero for Koch, Crack, AIDs and Homelessness. Operation Pressure
Point sent raids through its tenement. Fire razed through its empty
buildings as garbage pilled up in the vacant lots between them. Evictions.
Squats. Riots. Neo-Ricans. Graffiti. Casitas. Claiming the unused land as
our own. Fun, innocent times on the stoop.


The Lower East Side was the epicenter of creativity and resistance. Rents
are too high for such shenanigans these days. The ‘Broken Window’ strategy
of Giuliani worked. The militarization of the Cops and the gentrification
of the world, has won. There is no place. No space, where ‘that’ could
happen again.


See all photos here: Lower East Side – 1980’s