Computers, Comedy Further Destroy Lower East Side

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THOR, opening for business in 2005. Photo: Getty Images

Everyone has his own personal milestone for when the Lower East Side was, irrevocably, over. Maybe it was when the Hotel on Rivington went up, or when Tonic closed, or when you first overheard one I-banker telling another about the Annex. Two new options now present themselves. First, there’s VLES, a Second Life–esque “virtual version” of the neighborhood wherein you, via your own hipster avatar, can walk from “Katz’s” down “Ludlow” and “watch” “bands” “play” “clubs.” And then there’s HBO’s Lower East Side–set new series, The Flight of the Conchords (which is likely being advertised inches from this item). Think Tenacious D with the added deadly touch of Wes Anderson/Demetri Martin/Eugene Mirman deadpan. (Robot obsession? Check.) Yes, it sounds like the perfect TV embodiment of the neighborhood — but it also makes us want to never, ever set foot there again. Thankfully, we don’t need to; we’ve got it on our desktop.

Virtual Lower East Side [VLES.com]
Flight of the Conchords [HBO.com]