Iggy Pop was filmed doing a walking tour of his neighborhood (he lived at Christodora House during this time) in the early 90’s in downtown New York City.
If I was going to envy a situation it would be not having had any money to buy property in downtown NYC in the early-mid 90’s. There were 1 BR condos near SoHo going for $200k in new buildings.
To give you an idea of what it was like to live in NYC as a younger person clubs were more about dressing outrageously to get in vs. bottle service, people still danced, there were less tourists, graffiti could be found on buildings and there were still regular coffeeshop/diner places. I found a 2BR apartment for rent on Chrystie and Elizabeth through a broker for $1025 that was double the size of an average space. All I did was walk in to a rental office out of curiosity. This place was huge! I doubt it would even be available today at a rent less than $5K/mo. There was a living room AND a dining room, 2 full bedrooms and bathrooms!!! I later figured out the entire building likely had been evicted or something because everything was brand new, including appliances which was unheard of.
FYI, there were still remnants of crack viles and drug activity at Chrystie Park and the closest train was the F line and a good 5 block walk. I could not get ANYONE to move with me to the Lower East Side at this time. I sorta cried over not being able to take that apartment.
I’m sharing because the interview turned quite insightful with Iggy being asked about Ice T and a discussion about law enforcement that definitely resonates considering certain events going on right now.
David Dinkins was Mayor and did a great job, though he was basically sold out by the same white ‘liberal’ media that had praised him once he took office. New Yorkers often refer to NYC as “pre and post-Giuliani NY” for reasons! A few years later he got rid of all the homeless people living in Thompson Square Park (and soon removed their visibility from the rest of City) literally overnight one evening.
You could still see Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday nights at the 8th Street Playhouse and go to CBGBs for example. Then the mass evictions started and the super rich people and developers took over lower Manhattan and rents skyrocketed along with the costs of many perks that made living there special.
Despite all of this, the Lower East Side does still look very old, many of the buildings show their age on the outside at least and the sense of history remains on the small side streets even as many other aspects about NYC have changed.