Squatting gets a bad rap, legal-wise, but drifting by it is not. Between 1992 and 2000, the infamous squatters of the LES — a very different, derelict, drug-addled LES — became tired of sitting on long, fruitless low-income housing waitlists and decided to build their own homes in the neighborhood’s many abandoned buildings. With zero construction training, they relied on makeshift communities to fit rooms with plumbing, electricity, flooring, and roofing. Ash Thayer, photographer and former squatter, shares her stories and rare candid images of these groups in Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992–2000, chronicling maybe the last generation of true bohemia in New York City. If you can’t remember the LES before Whole Foods and American Apparel, get yourself to this talk and hear about the lifestyle-turned-industry that we can only romanticize.
Thu., April 2, 6 p.m., 2015