East Village Eye

The East Village Eye was a cultural magazine, published by editor-in-chief Leonard Abrams, in circulation from May, 1979 until January, 1987. Based in the East Village section of New York City, the publication covered a range of locally focused topics, including art, politics and gentrification.[1] The East Village Eye, colloquially referred to as The Eye, covered topics such as the emergence of punk rock, hip hop and fashion as fringe pop culture, as well as the burgeoning art and nightlife scenes that highlighted NYC's East Village neighborhood during the 1980s.[1] The paper represented a confluence of popular culture, leftist politics and the artistically innovative.

Logo of the East Village Eye.gif


Leonard Abrams started the East Village Eye after moving to the East Village in the mid-1970s. Its first office was at 167 Ludlow Street, moving repeatedly in and around this relatively inexpensive pocket of downtown Manhattan. Abrams' decision to feature artists from these emerging scenes, eschewing more established institutions, made The Eye a valuable cultural counterpoint. Over its span of 72 issues, the magazine was a platform to examine the contributions of visual and performance artists, musicians, cutting edge fashion design and photography, and neighborhood issues. The Eye was laced with wit, satire, sarcasm and written in a distinctly New York vernacular.

The Eye reached a peak circulation of 10,000 copies per month, available throughout New York City and outposts in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. The magazine became a marketplace for the local economy, with neighborhood businesses purchasing ad space.[2]

The Eye claims to be the first publication to print and define the term "hip hop" in an interview between writer/subculturalist Michael Holman and Afrika Bambaataa.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "The East Village Eye: Where Art, Hip Hop, and Punk Collided" by Tiernan Morgan at Hyperallergic November 12, 2014
  2. ^ "EV Grieve". evgrieve.com.

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