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Portrait of Christa Toole

Alphabet City, a neighborhood in Manhattan where the avenues are uninspiredly called by the first few letters of the alphabet, is not itself. The real estate agents have won. The gentry have stopped calling it by its name, and hide its ugly, dangerous, violent, syringe-pricked history behind the moniker East Village. The subway does not go into Alphabet City. Ten years ago, just when all this change was beginning, I lived between Avenues B and C, and I managed to get a cab to stop for me. The driver told me that two years prior he wouldn't have even come to the area. I believed him. But now! Now the punk squats and dope dens are French cafés and martini bars. Now Alphabet City is the white-washed East Village.

"Xta"

19" x 25"
acrylic on canvas
2 August, 2003

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