Not too long ago, though it's hard to imagine now, New York City was a very different place. There were vast swaths of Manhattan where folks from the right side of the tracks were warned not to venture. East of Bowery was where anything could happen and a young man could get lost. For those of us who were there, it was our Wild West, our undeclared war.
“I had a bicycle, a sometimes ex-girlfriend who once had great hopes for us and still sometimes looked at me with a tell-tale wishfulness. I had the clothes on my back and a little money and a terminal case of wanderlust. In the downtown city streets I had met my real match. I probably had a habit, but I didn't know it, which is a sweet spot for a dopefiend to be in. For a while anyway.”
East of Bowery began as a collaborative web project between writer Drew Hubner (American by Blood, We Pierce) and photographer Ted Barron in 2008. It was subsequently performed as a multimedia performance with live musical accompaniment at the Gershwin Hotel and the Bowery Poetry Club. This is the first print publication of the project.
“Drew Hubner's prose and Ted Barron's photos are kin, at once raw and lyrical, grit and grace, which is what the city was like back then. The combination is magic, the essence of the time and place.”
—Luc Sante, author of Low Life and Kill All Your Darlings
East of Bowery is a sharply-focused, street-level view of Downtown before the real estate agents started renaming everything.”
—Steve Earle, author of I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
“Drew Hubner writes like people used to.”
—William Georgiades, New York Magazine
"The voice is loose, jazzy, and fast, the memories liquid and hot, avoiding the romance of macho drug memoirs with black humor, verisimilitude and a knack for the absurd...”
—Kate Christensen, author of In the Drink and The Astral