For a change of pace, Clayton Patterson, the veteran Lower East Side documentarian, has been assembling slideshows using photos from his massive archive.
“We are working out a new idea,” he wrote under the initial YouTube video. “Making slideshows. This is the first experiment with an old friend.”
Over the years, Patterson has documented it all, and this first online installment, not surprisingly, is the definition of wide ranging.
The cascade of images stretches from the 1980s into the 2000s. Included here are mass evictions of squatters on E. 13th St., police arrests, Tent City in Tompkins Square Park, Patterson’s custom Clayton Caps, empty heroin baggies stamped with rival brand names that he collected from the streets, former Houston St. antiques dealer Billy Leroy sporting a black eye, Dana Beal advocating for pot legalization on City Hall’s steps, the late restaurateur Lucien Bahaj, activist John Penley and the former Tompkins Square band shell.
There are lots and lots of locals — including graffiti artist LA II twice — posing for pictures in front of Patterson’s famed Front Door, Jim “Mosaic Man” Power and his canine pal Jesse Jane, street artist Richard “Shadow Man” Hambleton, tattooing, actor Matt Dillon rocking a Clayton Cap, the Keith Haring graffiti wall at Houston St. that was recreated by LA II, Boris Lurie of NO!art fame, actor Taylor Mead and writer Robert Heide.
There are also photos of CBGB, Pyramid Club drag queens, filmmaker Nick Zedd, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, former Mayor Ed Koch at a rooftop screening at Seward Park High School of the Patterson biopic “Captured,” Living Theater actor Steven Ben Israel, users smoking crack and injecting heroin, and Linda Twigg, who peddled homemade clay poker chips and pot.
Garden of Eden creator Adam Purple, filmmaker Spike Lee and Anthology Film Archives founder Jonas Mekas, along with actor Rockets Red Glare and a satanic, black-hooded tarot card reader who haunted St. Mark’s Place are also part of the mix.