Longtime Standard pal Tony Arcabascio is the kind of guy you want by your side in a street fight. He also happens to be the guy you want designing the books for your publishing imprint—which is one of the many projects he’s done with The Standard over the years, including Cheryl Dunn’s forthcoming Festivals Are Good for Standard Press.
In 1999, Tony co-founded the sneaker and apparel company Alife. Its headquarters on Orchard St. served as a hub for a cross-section of the Lower East Side creative scene: artists, photographers, actors, musicians, sneaker-heads, skaters, and graffiti kids. Once a month, Tony and his partners would move the merchandise out of the way, stock up a cooler, and everyone would roll up, spilling onto the street and into the back yard.
Of course, that was a different time—pre-smartphones, pre-9/11, pre-Brooklyn-as-we-know-it. These days, Tony works out of a Soho penthouse filled with artifacts of his earlier years as a scene-maker, break-dancer, creative connector, and trendsetter. But don’t get Tony started on New York nostalgia. Die-hard New Yorker that he is, Tony would never badmouth his beloved city. In short, he’s one of those classic New York characters—the kind that make NYC what it is and always will be…while cursing every third word. In the midst of launching a new creative endeavor, and making his Instagram debut, Tony took a moment to tell us about 10 things that are still great in the “new” New York.