BillWeinbergPicFrom his longtime, rent-stabilized perch in the East Village, Bill Weinberg has been watching the inexorable dollar-per-square-foot squeeze. But as he writes in The Villager, even he was taken aback when three familiar pit stops – a laundromat, a check-cashing place and Plantworks – closed their doors within the same month because of spiraling rents.

Weinberg wonders why the area needs yet another fancy gym (Plantworks is to be replaced by one). The one-time Youth International Party-involved journalist goes on to detail the ultimate personal insult – the name of another gym rising from the ashes of the Yippie Cafe/Museum on Bleecker Street:

The cafe had been closed for several months, as creditors repossessed the building and evicted Yippie Holdings — a surviving fragment of the Yippie radical youth movement of the 1960s. I spent much of my own youth among the latter-day Yips at the notoriously malodorous hangout that we called “Number 9″ back in the early ’80s.

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