Travel Hotel Blog

The Bowery Arts Scene

October 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

New York sees a lot of newcomers every year, and many of those people bring cultures and ideas to the city with them. Those ideas contribute to the ever-growing nature of this place, which is why it’s such a fascinating place to have the privilege of living and working. One of the neighborhoods that has seen substantial growth since the 1990s has been the Bowery. Thanks to Grassroots efforts from groups like the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, the area has become a more attractive place to live.

One of the most obvious places to see this growth is in the expansion of the neighborhood art scene.

Just before the crash of 1929, perhaps still high on the optimistic roaring 20s, a club was built in the neighborhood called the Bowery Ballroom. Today, that Ballroom is home to some of the most prominent musical acts in America and is widely regarded as one of the hippest venues in the city. Most people don’t know that it stood vacant almost from the time it was built until World War II, when the space finally saw foot traffic when it became a high-end retail shop.

In 1984, Tony Goldman decided to pair with Jeffrey Deitch and the two real estate developers bought a space with a wall they intended to use for a mural project. Goldman wanted to give young artists in the city a space to showcase their work.

As gentrification grew, one of the side effects was the Bowery Poetry Club, which was formed at the corner of Bowery and Bleeker. In the mid 80s, it was the home of slam poetry. It closed briefly in 2012, but re-opened shortly after as a shared performance space.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.

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