Breaking: the Lower East Side, a downtown Manhattan neighborhood once known as an enclave for poor immigrants, has undergone radical gentrification and been turned into a nightlife playground for hipsters and prepsters alike. Okay, while this Downtown Express story on the LES Noise Wars/nightclub saturation issue doesn't tell us anything new, it certainly rounds up all the usual characters for another entertaining go-round of soundbites. You've got the pissed-off oldtimer ("This isn’t Times Square"), the bridge-and-tunneler ("This is my home away from home"), the profiteering local businessman ("Thank God for those people who bless us with their money and their presence and their laughter and their cheer and their vibrancy") and the jaded hipster ("may soon resemble something like the Upper East Side"). The wildcard is Village Voice gossip columnist Michael Musto, who comes out of the bullpen hurling heat: "Once the bridge-and-tunnelers start coming in, they take over. Generally, they mark a spot the way a dog urinates on a traffic pole." Hell Square, everybody!
· Is L.E.S. bar scene drunk on growth? [Downtown Express]