Tim Folzenlogen

"We are what we experience. Experience something new and become someone different."

Day Eleven – East Village - Saint Marks Place

I wanted the East village to be my tenth neighborhood, as I have history there - but then I was also thinking of Central Park, southeast corner, by the zoo, where all the portrait artists set up shop, as a nod to the tourists, as tourists are a big part of life in this city.

So I went to Central Park.

It was brutal.

I got the feeling that all the tourists are well coached before coming to be suspicious of anyone on the street offering them anything. You could see them tighten up every time we’d make eye contact. Stiff smiles. “No thank you.”

So I left after an hour or so and went to the East Village.

I used to show in the East Village a lot back in the eighties. It was a wild and crazy place back then – even dangerous if you ventured into Alphabet City.

Now it has become hip, and an expensive place to live - but it never lost that edge – which is why it’s so hip.

In the East Village, you see every kind of person - rich and poor, suits and spiked, young and old. Lots of tattoos, pierced skin and colored hair.

There is a sweet, childlike quality about the place. “We will never grow up.” Everyone feels like a kid there.

This is good for what I do, as it is a better match than most places.

There is more wonder on the street – bordering on fantasy.

I didn’t have any deep discussions, but I did hear more expressed appreciation than in other neighborhoods.

“ Wow. Nice painting. Cool.” - that kind of thing.

One in nearly every group took a card.

Three or four people came back for one, after passing.

The East Village is that kind of place.

People are thinking there, and by and large, there is a lot more space for their thoughts to roam.

September 27, 2003