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Panel Talk With Author of “Upscaling Downtown,” New Book on LES Nightlife

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upscaling downtown

Next week, there’s a panel at University Settlement revolving around an always controversial subject: the proliferation of bars on the Lower East Side and their economic impact on a gentrifying community.  The event is built around sociology professor Richard Ocejo’s book, “Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City.”  More about the book:

The product of four years of fieldwork in the East Village and on the Lower East Side, (it) uses nightlife as a window into understanding urban development and explores what community institutions, such as neighborhood bars, gain or lose amid gentrification. Ocejo considers why residents continue unsuccessfully to protest the arrival of new bars, how new bar owners produce a nightlife culture that attracts visitors rather than locals, and how government actors – including elected officials and the police – regulate and encourage nightlife culture. By focusing on commercial newcomers and the residents who protest local changes, Ocejo illustrates the contested and dynamic process of neighborhood growth.

The panel talk will include the author, Bob Holman of the Bowery Poetry Club, Matt Krivich of the Bowery Mission, bar owner Mike Stuto and neighborhood activist Rob Hollander. It will be held Wednesday, October 15 at 7 p.m. More details here.

The evening is co-sponsored by the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.

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  1. All men. Matt is a hero and the rest have done interesting and good work here. But one saved his venue by partnering with a high-end restaurant with burlesque dancers: using the sex industry to survive economically? Never fault a woman for how she survives sexism – but men who profit from it? Where are the moms and grandmothers who are the foundation of this community? Where are the parent association mothers? The women who lead the grass-roots nightlife saturation fights here? The female tenant leaders? The female political and community leaders? The battalion of women who care for our elderly? Who does the unglamorous grinding work here? Who takes the credit and gets the public recognition? What is the message to women from this evening?

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