Is This the Future of the East Village?


You pass out in the gutter sometime around 11 p.m. to find all your friends have deserted you. You try to get up, bleary-eyed, your face covered with candy wrappers and street scum. As you peel a prophylactic from your face, you look up to see a blindingly bright sign shining right in your bloodshot eyes: “Billy Hurricane’s.”

You wrack your addled brains trying to figure out where you are. Did you pass out on the strip of dive bars that runs along the Cancun lagoon? Are you in Daytona Beach? Bourbon Street in New Orleans? Memphis’s Beale Street? What hideous fleshpot have you been transported to where each bar is glitzier and more brain-dead than the last, where the themes of the bars are sad parodies of culture, where two margaritas cost you less than one, and all the bar snacks have been fried — several times.

But wait. You look up at the street sign and realize you’re in the hippest nabe in the world, the old E.V. And it dawns on you that soon the entire length of Avenue B will be lined with shit holes like this, crass dining and drinking establishments that might have been invented by Guy Fieri. Yes, now we’re in the Fieri-verse, a realm of ostentatious overconsumption so abject, that nori rolls may come wrapped in bacon so as not to frighten the regulars with seaweed. Any self-respecting blogger would turn and run from such an apparition, yet this appears to be the future of the streets where Allen Ginsberg and Charlie Parker once strolled.