Intimate Photos Of Lower East Side Squatters Show ‘The End Of Bohemia’

by kaya payseno

Before froyo and studio apartments that cost more a month than any car I will ever own, the Lower East Side was home to those with no other housing options. Though almost uninhabitable, the then dilapidated and abandoned buildings became a haven for a vibrant community of squatters who worked to make them livable.

Photographer Ash Thayer found herself entering this world, like many others, through force of circumstance. No money. No options. She was introduced to the squatter community through the overlapping punk scene and from there was able to capture the bright bohemia she was now a part of.

Thayer’s intimate portraits provide a rare document of secretive community and a recent past that seems untouchable. The scenes she captures are textured by a 90’s punk aesthetic but remind us content-wise of the housing crises that are still taking place today in the wake of gentrification.  

Check out collected works of Asher Thayer in her photo book KILL CITY: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000






















Images via Ash Thayer on Display at Sunchief Gallery Los Angeles until 9/27/15

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.