Old E. Village Activist Still Hanging It Up


Back in October we told you that John Penley, the ubiquitous protester whose East Village inveighings against yuppies, cops, etc. have been oft covered here, said to hell with it and was going to leave New York. When he turned up recently at a birthday party for Ray of the fabled Avenue A newsstand, we figured he had changed his mind. But both The Villager and Washington Square News report that he’s really leaving this time. When the tenants of 47 East Third Street, against the removal of whom from their homes Penley had bravely agitated, lost their case, took buyouts and would “no longer would greet him” when he passed them on the street, he says he “should have noticed something was up.” “To be honest with you, I’m really sick of the [Village],” he tells WSN. “The people who would generate creative things there have been forced to leave the neighborhood.” The former war correspondent’s photo collection has been entrusted to NYU, and Penley says he’ll soon be off to Erie, Pennsylvania, whose citizens may not know what’s in store for them. (h/t EV Grieve.)