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The East Village & LES Get Their Seedy Underbellys Scrubbed

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The combination of rising rents and a desire for more commercial space is harming a very specific group of small business owners—those who deal in illegal activities. The Observer's Chris Shott, of "Shott on Location" semi-fame, investigates the shutterings of a few seedy shops in a piece which has the best dek we've seen in quite some time: Hookers, fake ID’s, Gucci knockoffs—1980’s New York lives! Coppers roust ruffians below East 14th. Shott mentions establishments that have been busted for all sorts of criminal activities, including fake id making, harboring hookers, and selling counterfeit handbags. One such place is Bowery Video, shuttered by the police back in April for prostitution. Also:

A similar prostitution sting further threatens to shake up the dicey tenancy situation at 17 Essex Street on the Lower East Side, which on June 4 also got slapped with court papers. The current signage on the building’s basement level, where the illicit transactions allegedly took place, reads “TL Driver’s Club, Inc.” But be sure to make yourself very clear, if someone answers the door, about whether you’re actually willing to drive stick.
Har, har, har. Looks like people will just have to head somewhere else to get their jollies these days. May we suggest the lovely area down under the Queensboro Bridge?
· Rackets Doom Lower East Side, East Village Retail [NY Observer]
· Surprise, The Bowery's Still Sleazy [Racked]