Have you been to the Lower East Side in New York City? A certain type of aesthetic graces the bathrooms of the LES. Venturing to the restroom in a large majority of bars below 14th Street; you’ll find yourself in a throwback to the last oasis of a Lower East Side – that is rapidly becoming no more. Let’s take a little photo tour and explore the art of Lower East Side bathrooms. Shall we? Okay. Let’s go…
Walk through the door of a LES bathroom – and it gives you a glimpse of what this neighborhood was like back in the days when The Ramones were playing at CBGB; and long before CVS drugstores and Starbucks graced every damn street corner.
Bathrooms in the Lower East Side are the last link that this neighborhood has to its once a rough-and-tumble roots. Basically, the LES used to be a scary place.
There’s a distinct look to the art of LES bathrooms. It usually involves layer-upon-layer of spray-painted graffiti and band stickers.
I met a musician who played at CBGB back in the day, and long before the neighborhood was gentrified – he said the only way he would walk to the subway in the LES after a gig was with a broken beer bottle for protection. And, I’m sure that a bathroom he used looked a lot like this…
So next time you’re in the Lower East Side of New York, venture to some throwback bars such as Cherry Tavern or Library Bar and get a true sample taste of what NYC was like pre-Giuliani and gentrification. Take time and close your eyes for a moment – and just imagine the Talking Heads are playing around the corner.
Yes, this sums up how you’ll find the experience.