People’s history of L.E.S. ready for your support

By Clayton Patterson

I need support in getting “Jews, a People’s History of the Lower East Side” into print. The three-volume, 1,500-page book is getting to the end.

Howard F. Seligman, finance and taxation specialist, is the head of the nonprofit Solo Foundation, which is managing the money for the project.

By donating to this campaign, you can preorder copies of the book. Other rewards include photo prints drawn from my archive; out-of-print books; even a DVD of my complete footage of the 1988 Tompkins Square Park police riot, available for the first time and only through this Kickstarter. For more information and to donate, go to Kickstarter, https://kck.st/o2bVzz.

“Jews, a People’s History of the Lower East Side,” is the story of New York City’s Lower East Side, once a largely Jewish neighborhood, and now unrecognizable after years of urban gentrification.

Volume I of the current project is the story of a “holy water” spring buried beneath the foundation of the Jewish Daily Forward building on East Broadway and of a six-month prison sentence from Essex Market Court for throwing snowballs. It is the story of cheap rents, knishes from Russ & Daughters and children screaming at tour buses to “stop telling lies about them.” It is the story of tent cities in Tompkins Square Park,

The second and third volumes focus more on cultural activities, such as art, theater and film and, for the most part, concentrate more on the area above Delancey St. Here’s the contents breakdown of Volumes II and III:

Volume II

1) Roots

1. Michael Weiner, “Seeking Refuge from Life’s Dissonance: The Disparate Echoes of a Father’s and Son’s Experiences on the Lower East Side, Decades Apart”

2. Roberta Faith Levine, “My Father”

3. Sheila Alson with Susan L. Yung, excerpts from The Ring

4. Pearl Gluck, “The Betsy Ross of Avenue C” (on her grandmother)

5. Steven Lack, the Lower East Side

6. David Rosenberg, “The Holocaust Behind the Counter: B&H Dairy, L&G Luncheonette, and the Myth of the East Village”

7. Jennifer Blowdryer, “A Brief Family History of the Non Gadget Oriented”

8. Suzannah B. Troy, “Stream of Consciousness, My Grandfather, 92 Reasons I Love the Lower East Side”

9. Tsaurah Litzky, “The People Who Made Me – A Love Story Of The Jewish Lower East Side”

10. Rodney Sur

11. Zia Ziprin

2) Shops, Gardens, Buildings

1. Roberta Faith Levine, “LES Tour From My Memory”

2. Julian Voloj, “A Walk Through the Jewish Lower East Side”

3. Bob Holman, “Inside the Synagogue is Mars. Inside Mars Is Your Apartment.” A poem for the opening of Angel Orensanz’s installation “Flying NASA Lab”

4. Gerrick Beck, “Gardenopolis”

5. Rob Hollander, “Architecture of the Jewish Ghetto”

6. Steve Zeitlin, “Sharing the Lower East Side” (on City Lore)

7. Chris Stein, “Style and Lower East Side”

3) Colorful Characters

1. Ann Binlot, “A-Ron”

2. Anne Apparu, “Word to Maman Le Poeme”

3. Amy Shapiro, “Repairing the Lower East Side”

4. Deborah Freeman, “A Couple of Hard Bop Holdouts, East of Eden”

4) Poetry and Prose

1. Steve Dalachinsky, Jim Feast and Yuko Otomo, “Tuli Kupferberg: The Meaning of the Jew in the Dictionary of Anarchism”

2. Jim Feast, “Morris Rosenfeld and H. Leivick: Jewish Titans at War on the Lower East Side”

3. Sparrow, “The Jews and the Unbearables; The Unbearables and the Jews”

4. Sabina Theijs, “Allen Ginsberg’s Ideal Society”

5. Eliot Katz, “Planet News and Futuristic Greetings from the Lower East Side: Recalling Allen Ginsberg”

6. Tom Savage, “My Allen Ginsberg”

7. Jerome Poynton, “Sister and Brother from Savannah, Georgia: Helen Oliver Adelson and Edgar Oliver”

8. Romy Ashby, edited by Foxy Kidd, “Interview with Edgar Oliver”

9. Ed Sanders, “Yiddish Speaking Socialists of the Lower East Side”

10. Steve Dalachinsky, “The Sorrows of Young Worthless — A Conversation with Myself or: An Abbreviated History of a Young Jewish Dropout’s Adventures in the Lower East Side”

11. Steve Dalachinsky, “The First Cemetery of Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue (1656-1833)”

12. Bob Holman, “A Jew in New York”

13. Erik La Prade, “On the Streets of the Lower East Side: An Interview with Harry Nudel”

14. Harry Nudel, “Death of the Deli”

15. Harry Nudel, “The Last Yid Poets”

16. Valery Oisteanu, “The Lion of the Beats, a sitting meditation for Allen Ginsberg”

17. Ron Kolm with a note by Jim Feast, “Hal Sirowitz: Last of the Lower East Side Poets”

18. Richard Kostenlanetz, image: Second Ave./Sixth St./Third Ave.

19. Richard Kostenlanetz, “Categories: A Self-Retrospective on a Different Kind of Literary Life Around the Lower East Side”

20. Lionel Ziprin, “Math”

21. Valery Oisteanu, “Strolling with the Non-Kosher Jewish Beats on the Loisaida”

22. Alexander Rubchenko, “An Interview with Leonard Abrams”

23. Nico Ponce de Leon Dios, “On Ira Cohen”

24. Alan Kaufman, “The Ghost of Abraham Cahan Meets The Rebels of Spoken Word”

25. Romy Ashby,“Marty Matz, Poet”

26. Jim Feast, “Barney Rosset: Outsider on the Inside”

27. Miriam Stanley, on Yiddish Poets

5) Music

1. Sara Levin, “Frank London”

2. John Zorn, “Musings on the East Village”

3. Ronen Landa, “John Zorn: Sanctifying the New”

4. Bobby Finberg, “Three Kings and Uncle Charlie” (on klezmer)

5. Elliot Sharp, “Near & Far”

6. Mary Rinebold, “Reflections” (on Phillip Glass)

7. Steven Wishnia, “Wie Bist Die Gewesen Vor Punk-Rock?”

8. Avram Fefer, “L.E.S. is Less”

9. Gary Lucas, “East Side, Far Side – All Around the Sound; a.k.a. It’s Not Where You’re Frum, It’s Where You’re At”

10. Steven Lee Beeber, “Immigrants” (on Punk)

11. Handsome Dick Manitoba, edited by Jim Feast

6) Performance Art

1. Michael Carter,“Howard Seligman, Covert Agent of Cultural Subversion”

2. Bonnie Sue Stein, “Basha Detroit: A 28-year history of a Jewess in NY- 1979-2007”

3. Roberta Levine, “A Brief History of a Performer”

Volume III

1) Illicit

1. Eric Miller, “Some Meanings of Mj in Lower East Side Jewish Culture”

2. David H Katz, “Jews With Guns: The Jewish Gangster On The Lower East Side”

3. Ben Essex, “My Name is Ben”

4. Ron Ross, “The Peddler from Norfolk Street”

2) Business

1. Economy Candy

2. Ben Kaplan, lawyer

3. Deborah Fries, Transformations (on art gallery management)

4. Dr. David Ores

5. Rabbi Gerson

6. Jennifer Blowdryer on property owner Sion Misrahi, “How I Came to Be Here”

7. David the Slumlord, by Margaret Santiago

8. Keith Staskiewicz on Alan Dell of Katz’s Deli

3) Politics

1. Malay Kanuga, “The Many Recurring Dreams of Reason: The Motherfuckers and the Art of Rebellion”

2. Tsaurah Litzky, “Emma Goldman – First Slum Goddess of the Lower East Side”

3. Elissa Sampson, “Yiddishe Bread & Roses – Stories of the Jewish Left on the Lower East Side”

4. Romy Ashby, edited by Foxy Kidd, “Interview with Carole Ramer” on Abbie Hoffman

5. Chris Brandt on Frances Goldin and Miriam Friedlander on housing

4) Art

1. Merry Fortune with John Farris, “Shalom Tomas Neuman – Celebration of A FusionArtist”

2. Robert C Morgan, “Shalom Amerika: Humanism in Exile”

3. Sharon Newfeld, “High Art in the Lower East Side: The Early Days”

4. Jerome Poynton, “June Leaf, Hands at War”

5. B.J. De Guzman, on Steven Marcus

6. Paul Buhle, “From The Masses to World War 3 Illustrated: New York art as political street commentary; or, Seth Tobocman and the Lower East Side”

7. Seth Tobocman, “This Neo-Expressionist, Comic-Book Artist So Far”

8. Clayton Patterson, on Boris Lurie

9. Staar on Boris Lurie

10. Liljefors on Boris Lurie

11. Romy Ashby & Foxy Kidd, “Interview with Tasha Robbins”

12. Kathleen Osborn, “Claw Money” (on Claudia)

13. Ilka Scobie, “Martha Diamond, Artist and Bowery Pioneer”

14. Efroim Snyder, “Jewish History and the LES”

15. Elissa Sampson on art in the Stanton St. Shul

16. Mary Blair Taylor, “Lady Island; Agathe Snow”

17. Donna Cameron, “Allure: The Circle Bait of Angel Orensanz”

18. Julius Klein, “His Son Was a Disappointment”

19. Eddy Portnoy, edited by Paul Buhle, “Cartoon Jews on the Lower East Side”

5) Theater

1. Caraid O’Brien, “Under the World with Sholem Asch” and a one act adaptation of his play “The Dead Man”

2. Eve Packer, Cafe Royal

3. Tom Walker, “Some Thoughts on The Lower East Side and the Jewish Community, Julian Beck and The Living Theatre, and Me”

4. Judith Malina, “Memories of a German Jew on the Lower East Side”

5. Jim Feast and Steve Dalachinsky, “Judith Malina and the Miracle”

6. Gerrick Beck, “Return of the Theater”

6) Film

1. Margot Niederland with Merry Fortune, “Was”

2. Rick Wirick, “The Dream Life: The Lower East Side Jews in Hollywood”

3. Ken Jacobs, “The Given Word”

4. Jacob Burckhardt, “On Being a Jew on the Lower East Side”

5. Mark Kron, “My East Village”

7) Photography

1. Jerome Poynton, edited by Loretta Farb, “Robert Frank, Gunslinger with Camera”

2. Richard Sandler, Untitled

3. Rik Little, “Maurice Narcis – East Village Jewish Artist”

4. Sid Kaplan, NY photographer