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Sally Lelong with works from Charles McGill, “Trapped,” including The Legend of the Red-Tailed Carp, 2012, left, at The Phatory
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Charles McGill

by Walter Robinson

Thirty years have passed since the Lower East Side Hispanic ghetto was transformed into the short-lived East Village art scene, but plenty of traces remain. On Avenue B, past Tompkins Square Park, once occupied by a massive and anarchic homeless encampment, stands the imposing Christadora House, which drew protests against a plan to convert the towering brick building into residential condos. A bit further down East 9th Street sits the stately former public school that was home to the Charas Community Center, now empty and boarded up for more than a decade by the mercenary developer whose plan to turn a quick profit was stymied by a public-use requirement.


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