The LES has lost another vital neighborhood institution with the shuttering of Tattoo Heaven Smoke Shop, a fake ID front and tattoo parlor that was shut down by the cops. What! This will surely rock the worlds of the Virtual Lower East Side!

The Observer's Chris Shott reports:

The 500-square-foot alleged bogus-license boutique remains locked up behind steel shutters, pending a hearing on June 28. But don't be surprised if a "for rent" sign appears outside the spray-painted storefront in coming weeks.

Now we believe the NYPD believe they're doing the right thing but in reality, they're depriving 16-year-olds on field trips from suburban high schools the right to get a unicorn holding a clover riding on the back of a dolphin through an ocean of Kanji tattooed on the small of their back.

Outraged, we sent Wayne, our Virtual Lower East Side correspondent, to canvass the virtual populace of Vice's bad Second Life rip-off.

Hey skeezers! Long time no see. So I'm a little lonely in here. I've been wandering around in this perpetual dusk for a couple of days now and haven't seen that many bros or dudettes. Today I caught sight of mad peeps dancing but upon further inspection they were all robots. Gnarly! I even saw a dude passed out on the street in front of Arlene's but he was just [bum192], a drone. I was personally bummed to hear Tattoo Heaven Smoke Shop (TatHev, we call it). I remember when I first moved to New York and I got a fake ID from there. It said I was from "New Hamshire" and it worked for two years until some fucking bouncer at the Cooler confiscated it at a Pixeltan show. He was from that state and knew there was a P somewhere in there.

Finally I ran into Thalia who seemed to run away from me a couple of times before I cornered her between a payphone booth and a shuttered deli.

Wayne: hello
Wayne: hey!
Wayne: thalia!
Wayne: comeback!
Wayne: hey!
t h a l i a: hey
t h a l i a: what's going on
Wayne: not much. i have a question for you
t h a l i a: ok
Wayne: do you know where a guy can get a fake ID around here? i'm only 19 and I want to get wasted!
t h a l i a: um, i'm far from being 19 these days
Wayne: how old are you? i mean if you care to answer
Wayne: you kind of look like your early 20s!
t h a l i a: ya thanks?
Wayne: Anyway, I just read that they shut down this fake ID place over on 2nd Street
t h a l i a: my profile says 106
t h a l i a: i beleieve
Wayne: what do you think about that? Is the LES losing its character?
t h a l i a: (i'm a typing genius by the way)
t h a l i a: this sounds like an interview
t h a l i a: losing its character? have you seen the condos going up?
Wayne: this kind of IS an interview
t h a l i a: cool, gotta run. talk again soon.
Wayne: bye?

Whatevs. I'm heading to Piano's. They don't even check Virtual ID!

Rackets Doom Lower East Side/East Village Retail [NYO]