Remember Batteries Not Included?

When I visit New Orleans, I often stay at the same French Quarter place run by a gay couple who used to live in the East Village in the 1980s. During one visit, one of the guys told me that when they lived there in the 1980s, he would carry around lighter fluid and matches when walking alone at night, and any time it looked like trouble was approaching he'd have it at the ready. If a situation escalated, he would pour a ring around himself and drop a match, creating a protective circle of fire... and also an illusion of don't-fuck-with-me craziness.

Some people like to romanticize the Bad Old Days of New York City, particularly the East Village, which made a huge transition from gritty to posh in the decades that followed. Maybe one day the current new residents of the area will be nostalgic for when their condos were there, and not some space-aged luxury floating mega-mansion owned by Chase bank.

Below you'll find some newly uploaded footage showing the neighborhood back then, when you could buy a pack of Marlboro Reds and a scoop of Breyer's non-artisanal ice cream at the same kiosk. Drink a bottle of your own tears every time you see a place that's now a luxury condo. [Note: These all appear to be from Nelson Sullivan's massive archive of footage.]

More video of the East Village in the 1980s can be found here and here.