everyone always complains about how new york is getting cleaned up and all its character is getting washed away by $4000 one bedrooms and health food stores… if you want a taste of the funk, head over to sixth ave and west 4th. there’s an disgustingly awesome row of stores there: a tobacco/bong shop, a Taco Bell/KFC combo restaurant, a low-level tattoo/piercing shop, a sex toy shop, and the knock-off Papaya King hot dog place (you can actually see Gray’s Papaya from there, they were having pricing wars last summer). On any given night, there’s tons of craziness here. Lots of thugs, even more homo-thugs, homeless dudes peddling magazine back issues, change hustlers… the funny thing is that everyone has to walk through here to get to the row of 3 star restaurants one block away, joe’s pizza around the corner, or the west 4th subway stop. IFC opened up a big theater on the block, thinking it would spark gentrification, but that place is losing. I can’t imagine it staying open much longer.