The heart of downtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village was famous for being a bohemian sanctuary for starving artists and college students who would go on to change the world’s culture. Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Jack Kerouac, Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Judy Collins, Allen Ginsberg…the list goes on and on.
But more recently, the Village has turned into an overpriced hangout for tourists, cover bands and Wall Street hipsters. The university at the center of it — NYU — functions as an extremely wealthy real estate company that extracts outrageous tuition and fees from its students while buying up more and more land. Student debt is at an all-time high while student prostitution and suicide are on the rise.
With a provocative eye and fearless tone, The Lost Village explores the demise of the Village: the corporate take-over by NYU; the accelerating gentrification, where condos and townhouses nowadays sell in the tens of millions; the sky-high rent increases that are displacing the few remaining Mom & Pop shops; and the vanishing street artists who gave the Village its reputation. Ultimately, The Lost Village is the story of a place that is losing (or perhaps has already lost) its heart and soul.