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We need vision, not people hiding behind computers

BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  I appreciate the debate going on around Soho House. Does a private, exclusive, expensive-to-join, membership-only art club belong on Ludlow St.? A reasonable question. People agree that so much of the old Lower East Side has been gentrified and there is not much left to save. What are people doing to save […]

Things change: If not Soho House, what will we get?

BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  In 1998 when Captain Cooper of the Seventh Precinct was asked about the explosion of quality-of-life types of crime in my area of the Lower East Side, Houston to Delancey St., he stated we were now living in an Entertainment Zone. Who thought up the Entertainment Zone idea? Who was behind this […]

Our artists are our cultural treasures; They need help!

Photos by Clayton Patterson Taylor Mead has returned to his Ludlow St. top-floor apartment after a hospital visit, but he has difficulty going up and down the stairs. BY CLAYTON PATTERSON | On March 7 a representative each from Councilmember Margaret Chin’s office and the Cooper Square Committee visited Taylor Mead. They arrived around noon […]

Defending their homes on E. 13th St.; Homeless on A

Defending their homes on E. 13th St.; Homeless on A

It was an early summer morning in 1996, and hundreds of police were getting ready to flood onto E. 13th St. between Avenues A and B, above, to evict squatters from several tenements. “We were welded into a building on the north side of 13th St.,” Clayton Patterson recalled of this photo’s vantage point. “Bratton […]

Take a bite out of gentrification, eat at El Sombrero

BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  What is the smartest, easiest, most pleasant way to stop a 7-Eleven, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or another cookie-cutter corporate business from renting the 108 Stanton St. location? Easy. Eat there. Support the business. El Sombrero (The Hat) is on the verge of extinction, simply because the ever-increasing cost of living on the […]

Let’s get back to our roots: We need new leaders

  BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  The Lower East Side used to be a place that sheltered, developed and nurtured great political leaders. These were politicians whose ideas changed the world and made a difference to the huddled masses, the new immigrants and the poor, even giving a hand up to the dissidents — those questioning […]

Local lens: Capturing folks over the years on the L.E.S.

Local lens: Capturing folks  over the years on the L.E.S.

  BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  I have always enjoyed documenting people as they grow older. I first photographed Miguel when he was 15 years old working at the same bodega as he does today. The ownership of the business has changed over the years, but Miguel, now 30, still is working at the same location. […]

From ComFest and Columbus to Soho Zat and back again

From ComFest and Columbus to Soho Zat and back again

  BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  It was an honor for me to get invited back to ComFest. In 1987, Darryl Mendelson first invited me to document this festival. From a political perspective, I think ComFest is one of the best examples of a working, community, cooperative affair. It takes a whole community of volunteers to […]

No masking it: Loisaida Fest was well worth crowing about

No masking it: Loisaida Fest  was well worth crowing about

  BY CLAYTON PATTERSON  |  Since 1987, the Loisaida Festival has been celebrated on the Sunday before Memorial Day. This year’s installment saw many vendors, including the woman painting a mask, above left. Of course there was great music, from conga players and singers to more casual itinerant music makers, like the man with the […]

From the Wall to the Hall

From the Wall to the Hall

  From the Wall to the Hall Back in the days before digital photography, Lower East Side youth used to flock from far and wide to have their photos taken in front of Clayton Patterson’s grafitti-covered door a.k.a. “The Wall of Fame,” on  Essex St. between Houston and Stanton Sts. The L.E.S. documentarian would develop […]

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