7th Street (2002)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Social Issues, Biography, Social History  |   Run Time - 71 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This casual, personal documentary charts one man's dedication to the New York neighborhood he grew up in, as he watches it go from a bohemian paradise in the '60s, to a haven for drug dealers in the '80s, to the gentrified, high-rent slice of Manhattan it has become. Born to a free-spirited single mother in a former tenement house, the fortysomething Josh Pais remembers a childhood filled with colorful characters, from the scenesters and hangers-on to the famous, luminary East Village artists of the era. Though he left the neighborhood to pursue a career as a Hollywood actor, Pais returned, only to find drug dealers and crack dens where his home once was; many of his mother's friends had fallen on hard times. Through it all, Pais remains committed to the area between Avenues C and D, and we watch as he attempts to create a safe haven for his wife and child -- a process made easier when the city decides to crack down on crime in the area. From Pais' point of view, 7th Street becomes safer, but also loses its character as its rents skyrocket.

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Keywords

big-city, change [personal], childhood, crime, development, gentrification, neighborhood, poverty, readjustment, tenement, urban-problems, urban-renewal