Apparently, whoever it was that told Ray Kinsella that, “If you build it he will come,” was not talking about New Yorkers. At least, this is the lesson we have learned from hipster-haven-gone-wrong, Extra Place, NYC.

Back in the day, Extra Place was a seedy alley behind legendary rock ‘n roll venue CBGB’s. Back then, and for much before, the little half block up from E 1st Street, between the Bowery and Second Avenue was a hangout for drunkards and no-good-nicks.

A few years back, real estate developers bought the surrounding property and put up one of those luxury buildings with the door men and the floor-to-ceiling windows and rent prices that make you want to scream, “life’s too short!” They had plans to turn Extra Place into New York’s own “Left Bank,” complete with cafes, street seating and New York’s goatee’d literati. But, like we so cleverly pointed out before, just because you build it does not necessarily mean that they will come. In fact, New York’s ironic crowd will most definitely not show up if they think they are supposed to.

Despite the failure of Extra Place, there is one saving grace, and it comes heaped on a tortilla and served with a side of guacamole. That is Oaxaca Taqueria. The only restaurant on the block, Oaxaca is a tiny taco shop that serves up made-to-order tacos, burritos, quesadillas and delightful sides. And it is insanely affordable, which is mind blowing for the East Village. (A taco is $3.25, and an order of three with rice and beans is $10.) The only downside: No alcohol. But that’s cool; it’s the East Village. Throw a stone in any direction and you will no doubt hit eight watering holes.

So, friends, to sum it all up: as far as I’m concerned, it’s cool if Extra Place isn’t flooded with ironic mustaches and fedoras. I deem any New York real estate that boasts a taco stand a success.

Advertisements