It may not be the East Village, but I’ find that there’s some kind of psychic connection between this neighborhood and the San Francisco Bay Area.
I know I’ve personally had a connection with the Bay (in particular with Oakland and it’s sports teams) for pretty much all my life.
I guess it’s for this reason I find it a little disconcerting to read how Oakland may soon lose not one but ALL of it’s professional sports teams — the A’s, Raiders and Warriors — to other cities.
I thought about this when I read an interesting article in this month’s ESPN The Magazine, which details the challenges in Oakland. See the article here, http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9758976.
I grew up a fan of Oakland’s teams and never wavered. People think I must be from the Bay Area, but I’m not. The reality is that I never chose these teams because I lived in Oakland or even because they played their games in Oakland. Quite frankly, it would have been much easier to have chosen local teams. It would have been easier to watch their games, I wouldn’t have gotten a lot more sleep when I was younger because I wouldn’t have had to stay up late listening to games on the radio or trying to catch the updates and final scores, and I would have been in agreement with the views of a majority of my friends .
But, I’ve never felt any connection to the Yankees, Giants, Rangers, Knicks etc. They may be New York sports teams, but I don’t think any of them is representative of the people who live in the East Village. I feel like the people of the East Village would be more inclined to support the A’s, Raiders and Warriors.
The Bay Area teams long have had an eclectic mix of players who mesh together in fun, creative ways. The Raiders are well-known for having brought renegade players to their teams and wound up having great teams for several decades. And the A’s, well they had the “Swingin’ A’s” in the 70s, Billy Ball in the early 80s, the Bash Brothers in the late 80s/early 90s, Money Ball in the first few years of this decade. For the last couple years, the A’s have brought together a group of young, fun-loving guys who are known for forming home run tunnels and smashing pies in the face of players responsible for walk-off victories. And, look at the Warriors! They almost accomplished the unbelievable in last year’s playoffs — falling just short of beating the perennial world champion San Antonio Spurs.
There’s something unique and different about the East Village, even today despite the gentrification that has taken place over the past couple decades. There is still that air of creativity, the progressive views, old-world charm, and the great nightlife that attracts people from all around. Its residents are unique, fun, creative mix of people not only from all around the country, but from all around the world.
No I’m NOT suggesting that the East Village try to steal away Oakland’s teams.
I just think that — like Oakland — it would take a lot to destroy the East Village’s uniqueness. Teams may come and teams may go. People may go and people can come, but for many of us the East Village remains the place that we call our home.