The Aftermath of the 81 Bowery Eviction
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[Photo: Annie Ling/New York Times]Over the weekend, the New York Times’ Lens blog published a photo essay alongside some additional updates regarding the eviction of 81 Bowery, and the plight of its former residents. March 7 was the day of the raid, when city officials broke down the doors and tossed the fourth floor tenants, citing unsafe living conditions. Most of the affected reside on the fringe of society – “restaurant workers, day laborers, laundromat attendants and a retired man on dialysis.”
According to the writeup, the city is providing temporary housing to those who can prove they legally occupied living quarters at 81 Bowery.
For others, the crackdown meant more than just losing a place to sleep. Some residents had lived on the floor for 30 years, and they described a tight-knit community where neighbors cooked for one another, lent one another money and watched Chinese operas together.
“We were like a family,” said Chen Xiukang, 62, a cook at a Chinese restaurant. “We help each other. We rely on one another.”