clayton PATTERSON has devoted the last thirty years to documenting the lower east side in new york city as it transformed from the raw, seething cesspool where nothing was off limits to the condo and starbucks laden version today…[CONTINUED WITH TRAILER]
the neighborhood has housed every fringe group that has come through new york city’s culture from bikers to drag queens to punks to squatters to junkies and even the yuppies. the late 80s and early 90s saw the neighborhood’s crime, homelessness, and drug pushing rise to a staggering level. clayton roamed the LES during this era with a video camera never far from his side. when the riots at tompkins square park exploded onto the streets of the city, clayton was up all night filming the brutality. captured is an amazing portrait of the growth, adaptation, and gentrification of a modern urban neighborhood, colored with extraordinary events, characters, and stories. the film also serves as an exploration of the nature of archiving as clayton’s archive contains 2,000 videotapes, 750,000 photographs, and nearly 2,000 branded heroin bags from the neighborhood.