Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Mean Streets Of The Lower East Side

From a biographical piece about Jack "King" Kirby of 76 Suffolk Street, by Jon Cooke in the Kirby Collector, Volume 4

From "KV Security"
Looking at the Corn Dog and Sweet Potato carts/articles you listed reminded me of stories my step-father used to tell about growing up on the LES. He lived at Pitt Street as a child in a railroad flat with a shared toilet in the hall. Pretty amazing.
He had said that every two LES blocks was an enclave of a different group and whatever was sold on the corner reflected that. Apparently at night, kids would take over the corners from the merchants and on an Irish block, for instance, they would roast potatoes with a flame from a trash can. And just the way we would walk around the Smith projects and the Smith kids would avoid KV, there were blocks and nationalities to avoid in those days, as well.

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