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Richard Price is a novelist and screenwriter. His books explore the urban world in a gritty, realistic manner that has brought him considerable literary acclaim. Price grew up in a[…]

Do you want to replace the junkies with the yuppies?

You can get all sentimental about it. There’s this big billboard on Houston Street saying “Where did all the junkies go?” Has something been lost on the Lower East Side? Yeah, it had a neighborhood identity. That neighborhood identity has gotten lost, that sense of community has gotten lost. But also, what’s gotten lost is about a million junkies.

Do you want to replace junkies with yuppies?

Maybe the truth lies in the middle somewhere. It’s still a neighborhood. It just has a different identity. But of course, the old guard is gone. The whole point of the book is that nothing is a done deal in New York. There’s no such thing as a complete transformation and a lot of people down there didn’t get the message that they don’t live there anymore because they’re still there. rnrn

Recorded On: 3/3/08