East Village Others

Hot town, summer in the city...East Villagers recline in the shade

June 4, I actually spent fairly uneventfully--packing, lunch with Joe at the Brooklyn Diner by Carnegie Hall, taxi to La Guardia, two flights connecting in Cincinnati, catching a maniac shuttle bus at midnight driven by a recent immigrant from Iran. We got lost and made U turns at least ten times, and the last two blocks I hiked carrying and rolling my luggage because Lani and Alan live in a gated community and I didn't want to awaken them with the entry buzzer in the middle of the night. The Iranian was ready to break down the gate with his hands, and I had to reassure him that, really, it was no big deal for me to carry my bags a couple of blocks.

Instead, here is the earlier part of the day of June 3, when I visited Jonathan Sender, the eldest son of Ramon Sender, with whom I wrote Being Of The Sun. The last time I saw Jon, he was in his 'teens. Now 39, having spent nearly all of his life in New York City, Jon plays and composes music. The charmingly decrepid building of his fourth floor walk-up overlooks St. Marks Place, main street of the East Village, and, on the day of my visit, the street churned with the music, food and craft booths, and crowds of a block party.


Three singers, two with guitars and one with keyboard, in front of East Village Books


Larger than life drag queen overlooks an intersection of St. Marks Place


Street talk t-shirt shop


Noonday shadows of fire-escapes; shops move their merchandise into the street


Surrounded by high tech music gear, Jon Sender relaxes in the summer heat.


The perfect boho bachelor pad, practical but poetic



Jon and I lunched at his favorite of the many eateries in the neighborhood, a Moroccan restaurant,
Cafe Mogador, from which we could see and hear the musicians on stage in the center of the street.


After lunch, we strolled around the East Village. Festivity reigned everywhere.
Careening through the park, a small bicycle gang festooned with flags
serenades all comers with on-board boom-boxes.


Sixth Street and Avenue B Park, built from an abandoned lot
by neighborhood artists, features a tower of toys and flags,
and, in the forground, an arbor adorned with mosaic.
Children play happily, while elders converse, among blooming flowers,
fragrant herbs and hand laid walkways.


A memorial in the doorway of an otherwise unremarkable old apartment building.