Posted in music | venues on June 29, 2009

ABC No Rio

"Three years ago, when the collective that runs the community and cultural center ABC No Rio received the deed to the crumbling, graffiti-covered tenement that had housed them on the Lower East Side for nearly 30 years, members of the group and their supporters rejoiced.

Formed in 1980 after an art show on gentrification, ABC No Rio endured attempts by the Giuliani administration to evict it from its city-owned building on Rivington Street in the 1990s. So when the Department of Housing Preservation and Development decided in 2006 to turn the building over to the collective in exchange for $1 and an agreement that the group would make badly needed repairs, many saw the deal as a crucial step for the survival of a beloved local landmark.

Soon after the transfer, however, an architect determined that the building was beyond repair and would have to be replaced. The budget for the project soared to $2.4 million, from $700,000. And then fund-raising -- never easy for a small organization run mainly by volunteers -- became even more difficult as the economy declined. Housing officials became concerned that renovations did not begin as quickly as expected; others questioned the group's ability to finance the expensive task of a new structure.

But much of the uncertainty vanished last week when the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, and City Councilman Alan J. Gerson allocated $1.65 million for a new building..." [NY Times]

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Tags: ABC No Rio, LES

Comments (48)

these punks don't deserve handouts

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 2:05 PM

where will i see aus rotten?

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 2:45 PM

To all you Brooklyn kids returning season eight of Sex in the City to Netflix, this was the punk, DIY-ethos looooong before Todd P, the rise of the internet and the gentrification of every last warehouse district in Brooklyn.

Have some respect for history, even a short history like this.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 2:46 PM

people would rather spend their money on Pinkberry. OMG!!! I live in NYC!!

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 2:53 PM

Tell me the last time there was a good show at ABC No Rio

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 2:56 PM

I'm willing to bet 99.9999% of the douches on this board never stepped into ABC. Right on about a history. Remember going there in 89' and dodging Puerto Rican gangs on the way out...A time when you Dinkin's ran NYC and rocking 40's down the street was the norm. Saw Burn's first show there. Gimme some GO! and Bugout Society over the shit they call music today anyday..!

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:03 PM

June 29, 2009 2:56 PM : Starkweather, this spring, any more pretenious, asinine questions?

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:06 PM

YO! Baby 'Sup!

Word dat...Give me some White Castles...

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:08 PM

The whole "peace punk" thing at the place was sometimes irritating, but these guys worked their asses off to get this funding taken care of. It is one of the few DIY places left in the city. Seem some great NYHC shows there.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:11 PM

Anon 2:46 - right on.

ABC NO RIO was and continues to be the joint for all-ages punk matinees.

To all of you haters: take your irony, fixed gear bikes and overpriced W'burg apartments and shove it.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:15 PM

abc no rio contributes little of value to the city.

they are a pack of self righteous snobs who could use a shower, and have terrible taste in music.

whatever they may have contributed 15 or 20 years ago is really irrelevant.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:20 PM

state funded arts is a terrible model.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:21 PM

ABCNR picked up where CBGB left off, without the stupid skinheads. Great place, great people, but it's been 15 years since I have been there! Unfortunately, a venue is only as good as the bands that play there. The punk scene died and so did the venues.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:22 PM

@ 2:56: just last saturday—you missed it, huh?

Posted by thrashlover | June 29, 2009 3:25 PM

Remember when everyone shelled out money to Hilly Krystal because CBGB's was such an important part of history and it was so important to preserve such a thing, despite the fact that nothing musically exciting had happened there for at least a decade? Then he just pocketed the money and died. And now the space has just became another place to sell overpriced t-shirts, much like it was before.

But now THE CITY can waste money on building a better space for the summering shit-punx to read old zines and drink the beers they've bought using the spare change they got from tourists.

Circle of Life.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:35 PM

I hate to say it but: condos > crusties

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 3:54 PM

ABC is cool. ive never gone there for shows, but they have free internet and you can fix your bike whether its a fixxy or not there. you can also just go and write or read or hang out. this i think is cool. people should have a space to DIY and if they can get the city to pay for it, all the better.

Posted by sloweducation | June 29, 2009 3:57 PM

good venue and still puts on some good shows. its filthy and the ceiling might crumble on your head but it is still a cool venue

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 4:16 PM

Ridiculous waste of taxpayer money

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 4:44 PM

Great place to see punk bands, cool people, good times. Glad they're surviving. It's obvious who has a clue here and who doesn't. Fuck off hipsters, yuppies and idiots..stay in Williamsburg.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 4:59 PM

As a native Lower East Sider (I am neither punk nor hippie) I can truly say ABC No RIO is a crazy/special one of a kind place.
I'm glad some people on this board recognize that.
I hope it survives in some form.

Posted by Jack Lewis | June 29, 2009 5:00 PM

anyone there for Earth Crisis and Snapcase (but no Strife, thanks to a snowstorm) back in '93 i think?

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 5:07 PM

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Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 5:11 PM

This is great news not only for ABC No Rio, but also for the whole community. Time’s Up Environmental Organization has been a long time supporter of ABC No Rio and always will be. Constant volunteers and community support has maintained the building and kept the vital programs up and running. Over the years they have continuously provided educational workshops, art and culture, and decades of local music for all and the youth.

Through our partnership with ABC No Rio, Time’s up holds bike workshops and meetings open to the community. Today we are hosting a woman’s bike repair class, a mailing party, and a prop and banner project to protect our water from toxic fracking solutions during gas drilling. If you’re in the area come and check it out at the ABC No Rio building. We are proud to be associated with ABC No Rio Community Center; it gives us all hope of real volunteer and community success stories.

We can save our community center’s, community gardens, and take back our streets. Don’t give up the fight, viva Charas Cultural Center.

http://times-up.org/

Posted by Time's Up Environmental Organization | June 29, 2009 5:23 PM

I'm sure the city thought this would be a cheap way to get this eyesore out of their condo community

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 6:51 PM

there are punk dumps like ABC No Rio all over the country and all over the Western world. Hardly one of a kind.

It's true, you can get scabies AND get judged by 17 year old trust funders with lip piercings in similar places in Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, and Zurich alike.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 6:57 PM

this place is a shit hole. give money to someplace that deserves it.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 8:08 PM

me and my friends like to hang out and drink beer and think we've got shit figured out better than everybody else too.

can the city build us a new house?

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 8:25 PM

krusties are a scourge. the city should not be subsidizing them

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 8:29 PM

it's pretty hilarious to see "punks" dis "hipsters."

at least hipsters are actively following a culture that's alive.

punks in 2009 are about as interesting and important as steampunks or people at renaissance fairs. You all like to play dress up and pretend things were better in another era.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 8:35 PM

You all like to play dress up and pretend things were better in another era. >>>

you mean like hipsters worship of bad 80's music & fashion ?

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 9:05 PM

9:05: try harder next time, that one was a dud

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 9:30 PM

which part of it was inaccurate ?

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 9:31 PM

all of it?

SOME hipsters make clever ironic references to the late 80s and the 90s, playing a fun game where the most amusing forgotten cultural reference is the coolest...

whereas ALL "punks" humorlessly replicate the fashion and music of a brief, heavily stripmined era, misinterpreting the politics and completely missing the originality of their heroes. There's nothing refreshing or new about regurgitated "punk" rock, as music or as fashion. It's stale and it's over, and it's got nothing to say.

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 9:42 PM

i wasn't defending the punks....but there's definitely a double standard , especially with the original statement of

>>You all like to play dress up and pretend things were better in another era.<<

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 9:55 PM

where?

Posted by Anonymous | June 29, 2009 11:13 PM

I would totally rather spend my money on Pinkberry.

Pinkberry tastes awesome and brightens my day, whereas ABC No Rio smells like shit and wastes my taxpayer dollars.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 1:41 AM

9:55, I hear you, but there's a difference between ironic reference and regurgitated homage.

I'm not that into either, but at least the hipsters' ironic references are clever.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:29 AM

Ironic references are sooo stale.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:39 AM

greatest news i've heard in a longgggg time. keep kickin ass abc!

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 10:49 AM

ABC No Rio is a fantastic place. Not just for the music, but also the art events, zine library, screenprinting workshop, etc. etc.
And it took a lot of fighting to keep hold of the space during the mid/late 1990s period when the city was trying to shut down every squat and alternative space in the neighborhood.
I'm so glad they're going to stay. Hooray for No Rio!!

Posted by RD | July 11, 2009 2:56 PM

abc no rio is a private clubhouse for smelly idiots

Posted by Anonymous | July 11, 2009 3:10 PM

ABC No Rio is an institution and it's fucking great the place is getting saved.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2009 5:42 PM

"City Councilman Alan J. Gerson allocated $1.65 million for a new building"

He is the best choice for solving the prevailing issues like overcrowded schools, massive budget cuts, high unemployment rates, and unprecedented cuts to our social services.

chk this:
http://www.gerson2009.com/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpContent&htmlKey=issues&s=gerson

So on September 15th when you march to polling station please vote for the humble Alan J Gerson to continue his reform works for a cleaner, greener, safer New York City.

Posted by Joe | September 10, 2009 7:12 PM

ohh gerson is such fame?

Posted by eisiver | September 11, 2009 8:46 PM

ALAN J GERSON contributed to the lives of young people as a member of the Board of the Chinese-American Planning Council, and the Advisory Boards of the Puerto Rican Family Institute's New Arrivals Youth Group, and the St. Anthony of Padua after-school program. A longtime supporter of the Project Open Door Service Center and the Caring Community, Gerson contributed to a better quality of life for seniorcitizens. A supporter of the arts, he is fighting to create a folk music museum and affordable artist workspace.
Please vote for him in District-1 Council election on Septemer 15th. To continue his good reforms.

Posted by SAM | September 13, 2009 3:02 PM

GERSON shd be elected to continue his good reforms.

Posted by Sawart | September 13, 2009 3:04 PM

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