Sometimes what makes NYC so great, also makes people throw up, literally. And if you live near the places where that happens you can get mighty fed up with the bars, the noise, the throwing up, the pissing and the crowds. That clash has created http://lesdwellers.org/Welcome.html, an organization dedicated to reclaiming the streets of L.E.S. from the drunks and the partying people. One result of Manhattan especially, existing within such a small geographic boundary is the planning description ‘mixed use’ applies to the whole place and sometimes that drives a lot of tensions.
The L.E.S. is easily one of the most historically interesting places in the City and for most of the 19th Century it was home to masses of tenements and thousands upon thousands of immigrants who had flocked to NYC to find a better life. Usually they found it, but before they did many went through a period of grinding poverty and terrible lawlessness until condtions generally in the area started to improve.
If any of those poverty stricken L.E.S. residents were to come back today they would see clean, made streets instead of muddy ruts filled with refuse and horse and human manure. And if they found out about the current cost of either renting or buying in the area they would need to be roused from a dead faint. But perhaps, because of their own experiences, they would not be put off by the drunken partygoers who wander the streets at night, especially in the area called Hell’s Square, bounded by East Houston, Essex, DeLancy and Allen Streets.
It is distinguished by having an unusually high concentration of places with liquor and cabaret licenses and almost all of them can stay open until 4.am. Locals are furious at the nightly influx of 9000+ people, drunken revelry that happens in the streets and the spilling forth of bodily fluids that follows on from heavy drinking, see the video for an example. So the ‘L.E.S.Dwellers’ patrol at night, taking pictures and videos as part of their relentless campaign to have some of the nightclubs closed down. They are having some success. The issue is not bars, it’s how many that is agitating the natives and they are determined to win.