Now we shift focus to another part of the LES, namely, the east village. This is an important setting in Rita mae brown’s RJ.
There are some alleged parallels between the life of molly and brown. When Brown was 11, she moved to Fl and dated guys & gals. She was kicked out of student council at 16 because her love letters were found by her gf’s father. Molly too is discriminated against for her sexual pref. expelled from from UF for participating in a civil rights rally. Later moved to nyc & attended nyu. Receives a degree in classics, eng, and cinematography from SVA.
To be precise, molly is motivated to travel north because the city has already established itself as a haven for alternative lifestyles. How did this city come about its character?
At first a neighborhood of art clubs, learned societies, literary salons, and private picture galleries, this era of the LES was immortalized by writers such as edithwharton and henryjames
the neighborhood changed when at the close of the century, german, irish & italian immigrants found work near the hudson. Cheap hotels & multiple fam residences sprung up, and wasp flight took place. By the start of WWII, it was a bohemian enclave
The bohemian enclave had secluded side streets, low rent, and most importantly, tolerance for noncomformity. Attention was on writers, artists, avantgarde galleries, and experimental theater companies. Speakasies also attracted patrons during prohibition.
Fast forward to the 50’s. a center for the “beat movement”. There were galleries along 8th street, coffee houses on mcdougal, and storefront theaters on bleecker.
On a June day in 1969, the nyc police raided a popular village gay bar known as the stonewall inn. Although these were common, the patrons finally fought back, and the street erupted into violent protest. The stonewall riots followed, marking the beginning of a nationwide gay and lesbian rights liberation movement.Had molly bolt been there, she would have been marching along for equality. Or not. We all know how she felt about bars and labels.
Final portrait of bowery english
Portrait of the Lower East Side<br />Evolution of poverty, <br />prostitution, and the gay scene<br />Portrait of Bowery<br />By: Monika Sanchez and Anna Krauze<br />By:<br />Monica Sanchez & Anna Krauze<br />