Bowery Watch: The Three Dollar ATM


My friends who work in midtown tell me that the $3-ATM is pretty ubiquitous there, but I had never had to pay a three-dollar fee at an ATM until I stumbled into the new Chase on the Bowery. That’s the sort of fee that I had always associated with airports and clubs and other venues where you had little options. Check out the background: you can see construction workers carting rubbish from CBGBs to make room for a John Varvatos boutique. It’s all part of one staggering cycle of change on the Bowery.

The construction workers at CBGBs said that the walls there will be covered with some sort of hard clear plastic to preserve the detrius of the club forever. All of this change begs the question: Who will be paying the $3 ATM fees and shopping at John Varvatos?

One answer might be these people. They’re not living, breathing people, but renderings of the sort of people the developer supposes should be living in the new condos recently constructed down the street from CBs and the $3-ATM Chase bank. Exciting.

This Christian Bale-lookalike was probably in a punk band in college. Now he works for a hedge fund. But just for a while. He really wants to make movies.

All in all, it seems fitting that I’d encounter this new benchmark of near usurious bank fees on the Bowery—a boulevard once synonymous with poverty. Where are the working poor these days? My best guess is someplace like the Poconos.