I visited the East Village in 1967 and when I moved there 10 years later not much had changed. The East Village, Tompkins Square and Alphabet City were in decay, whole areas were virtual urban wastelands. But, out of the ruins great things were rising in the arts and culture. During the mid-70s through the 1980s, the area was vibrant with a bohemian vibe. Then came gentrification and many of us were pushed out, along with the poor and elderly. The area is thriving now with fine restaurants, fashion boutiques and trendy bar after bar after bar. It’s still a wasteland – an expensive, well-maintained, cultural wasteland. Where once were bookstores, rock clubs and shops filled with hip affordable clothing there are now fast food chains, designer brand boutiques and banks popping up like a bad case of corporate herpes. Yes, I know I sound like a disgruntled ex-New Yorker. I am one.