Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Freeman Alley

On an unseasonably warm February night...

Freeman Alley

9 comments:

  1. Wow, that's one of your best photos ever! Love the colors in it. Where is Freeman Alley?

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  2. Thanks, Marty

    It's off of Rivington, between Bowery and Chrystie.

    A few years ago, I heard a recorded interview with the man who owns (or owned) the building on the right in this photo. He talked about the block when he moved in - I think the 1980s. It was a major drug block and homeless people slept in the alley. He recounted a heartbreaking story of a homeless man who froze to death one night in the alley and the man's friend who refused to leave his side when the paramedics arrived to take the body away. The building owner also spoke rather highly of the dealers who would organize all the junkies in the morning, lining them up neatly against the wall to collect their drugs from a hole in the cinder block. He said the dealers actually brought order to the block and became unofficial security for him as he drove his car in and out of the area, which was very dangerous.

    I can't remember the man's name and I've been looking for the interview ever since. It was fascinating - painful and touching. This particular block has changed so much in the last decade, it's amazing. And, this alley, one of the few in Manhattan, has become the opposite of what this photo shows - there's actually a somewhat swanky restaurant at the very back.

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  3. Great story, Goggla! I'd love to hear that interview.

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  4. great great shot Goggla! Bobby Williams.

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  5. Great shot. Freeman's, the restaurant at the end of the alley, is one of my favorite restaurants. I'd argue with the word "swanky' though....

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  6. ethentru according to vroomvroomvroom.com:
    "Moving onto Freemans Restaurant (right) found at the bottom of Freemans Alley (funnily enough), off Rivington Street . The wait for a table is lengthy after 7pm, but grab a bottle of wine and wait it out. The food is great, the atmosphere is chic, hip and perfect for a Friday or Saturday night. Make a booking, Freemans gets pretty busy most nights."
    I wanna go to this place..great photo Laura and I, too would love to hear more if you find the interview. The guy was totally connected.

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  7. A few years ago, I was having a beer across the street and watched as people kept ducking down the alley. I figured they must be getting drugs, but then I noticed no one was coming back out. Curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to check out the alley myself. It was night and I recall being pretty nervous, then totally shocked to see a restauraant back there. I went in and it was packed. The menu was almost all meat. I thought it was so weird at the time...guess I need to go back and try it.

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  8. Great one!!I love the mystery and intrigue this alley evokes. Cool shot.

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