LES bars and partying ruining the neighborhood, study finds
NYC's Lower East Side, with its (over)abundance of bars and clubs has not the greatest reputation these days, with an earned reputation for out of control partying on the weekends (and other days) which is getting stranger with the influx of condos and fancy hotels. A nine-block chunk of the Lower East Side, bordered by East Houston, Allen, Delancey and Essex -- which includes music venues Mercury Lounge, Pianos, Arlene's Grocery and others -- apparently has the highest density of on-premise liquor licenses in NYC and has been dubbed by some as "Hell Square."
A new study commissioned by LES Dwellers Block Association and conducted by graduate students at the Hunter College urban development workshop (URBG790) may be biased, but it has found that the effects are almost all negative, with "Visible and measurable effects include increased crime, serious public health and safety issues, and a general decrease in quality of life." The New York Post, as it is inclined to do, digs out some of the more alarmist portions:
“I won’t even walk through the neighborhood. It’s so dangerous on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, almost every night. I mean it’s not just dangerous but it’s just offensive. I’ve never been called a f—-t more in my life than in the last three years in this neighborhood,” one 20-year resident told grad students from Hunter College’s Department of Urban Policy and Planning...
...“There was this belligerent fight between some locals and some white guys here to drink in the neighborhood. The visitors were drunk screaming ‘get out of our country.’ Turned into a huge mob fight,” a 19-year resident said during a focus group.
The locals also say the area has become infuriatingly noisy at night — and covered with trash and vomit in the mornings.
One subterranean store owner described the ritual of scrubbing puke off the shop’s steps with bleach every morning in the summer.
“We get there at 9 or 10 in the morning and it has fermented, it has crusted, it has dried the stomach acid, it’s caked, it stains my steps for weeks after,” the shopkeep told the researchers.
Read the whole study here.