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Gutter Punks Reclaim Tompkins Square Park Real Estate

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Tonight, some East Villagers will gather outside Bruce Willis' Bowery Wine Co. to protest yuppies, wine bars, real estate developers and the general loss of the gritty character of the neighborhood. While the area's aggressive gentrification probably won't be reversed, at least one old EV institution has returned: "Crusty Row," the group of benches near the middle of Tompkins Square Park, has welcomed back its, um, Crusts. Neither More Nor Less reports:

A year or so ago the Crustys were driven from and denied access to this row of seats that had been named for them. Until recently NYPD and the Parks Dept. allowed the Crusty community to gather in a small out-of-the-way shrub enclosed enclave near the basketball courts . A couple of weeks ago this area was also denied them. They were for a while a diaspora scattered in small groups on the benches , grass and asphalt of TSP. Two days ago they returned to their namesake seating in the central part of TSP near the current dog run.That's famed Crusty L.E.S. Jewels seen above, posing with a Villager item on tonight's protest. And speaking of the protest, the leader of the New York Young Republicans?whose meeting at the Bowery Wine Co. touched off this whole affair?foolishly tries to add some common sense to this whole ridiculous situation, telling Urbanite, "Talking about how we all come in with blackberries and briefcases. Just because we have an event somewhere doesn't mean that a place is pro-Republican or anti-Democrat." Uh, it might be best to just let this storm die out without further comment, before L.E.S. Jewels shows up on your doorstep.
· Crusty Row Renaissance in Tompkins Square Park [NMNL]
· 'Die Hard Yuppie Scum' Protest the Latest in Bowery Hijinx [Curbed]