Skip to main content

Besides the Mboards function as a worldwide source of info, they also serve many New Yorkers in some very newsworthy neighborhoods, including ours, the East Village.

This topic is for neighborhood stories, extremely local news, first-hand accounts, neighborhood issues not covered elsewhere.

For instance, I returned home from a night out Saturday to the full-scale hostage drama going on at Veloce on 2nd Avenue. There were helicopters overhead, SWAT teams, hazardous waste trucks and blaring sirens at 3 AM. There was nothing on NY1 and we didn't find out till yesterday morning what it had actually been.

Turns out that Iso, the owner of Iso (the pink Japanese restaurant right there at 11th and 2nd)
was shot by the Colin-Ferguson-With-HIV madman, along with several other hostages.

Walking by yesterday it was shocking to see the bulletholes everywhere. Today the story is front page, though I'm happy to report that John Gotti is still ruling inside the papers.
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

There was a followup story on NY1 tonight saying that residents and businesses in the affected area - which was huge - West Side from Battery Park to 14th Street West of Broadway - are being asked to conserve power with the new heat wave coming this week.

It seems that power for that sector that was controlled by the blown-up transformer has to be
coming from somewhere else for a few weeks while it is rebuilt. And they don't sound that confident about the somewhere else.

If you didn't lose power like Hattie, the worst thing about yesterday was the F16 planes flying again over the EV - gave many of us a weird flashback.
Two persepctives on what's going on in Times Square and the sex market.

First, from today's NY Daily News:



There will be no more peeping on 42nd St.
Peep-o-rama, the strip's last sex shop, officially closed at 3 p.m. yesterday.

A few passersby watched in bemusement as landlord Shan Covey heralded the end of the smut era by taping a plastic "closed" sign to the storefront and holding aloft the door's key.

The shop was a tenant in one of the many buildings purchased over the past few years by the Durst Organization. Durst plans to build a 52-story, 1.7-million-square-foot tower on the block, which runs from Broadway to Sixth Ave.

"Clearly, Times Square has evolved from what it has been historically," said Deborah Rigel, a Durst attorney who watched yesterday's closing.

"This is not a tenant the Durst Organization particularly wanted," she said of Peep-o-rama, a long-established, round-the-clock porn palace that was the last vestige of the bad old 42nd St.

Mike Richman

And a more lenghty analysis from the NY Times:


Last of 42nd Street's Peep Shows Closes

The formal closing yesterday of the last peep palace on 42nd Street, Peep-O-Rama, was a coda in the rebirth of Times Square as a kinder, gentler place. The sex shops and naughty tape stores have been wiped clean from the famed street.

But the transition from the 42nd Street of neon love for sale to the new Times Square of "The Lion King" is not the end of the smut story.

While today's Times Square is a world away from what it was only a decade ago, just steps from 42nd Street, for several blocks on Eighth Avenue, porn and peeping rule.

The most basic peep is a video peep. For as little as a quarter, some people find entertainment at a place like Show World Center, where the deep red walls and runway lighting recall its headier days. Once, topless girls rode carousel horses and "booth babies" gave private dances. Now, only video stalls remain. Customers are promised their choice of 128 selections, and the routine is unvarying: a man enters a booth, the video moans, a few minutes later the man leaves and is followed by another man, this one with a mop.

"We satisfy an urge," said George, the manager of Show World, in a business where first names are often the only names.

The classic peep, with a live girl, can still be found on the avenue as well. Three minutes in a booth with a girl, separated by a glass wall, costs $25. The way it works is: the man enters and a little sign commands him to talk to the girl. She explains that $5 goes into the machine and $20 is to be slipped into a slot for her. A visor lifts, revealing the girl. She strips, the visor goes down, the lights go on. Peep over.

"It's nice that there is no physical contact," said Angel, who was working a booth in the back of a video store.

These two forms of peep are just the latest in New York's long-running battle of sin and salvation.

As Mike Wallace and Edwin G. Burrows write in their history of New York, "Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898," when vice becomes the defining characteristic of a neighborhood, reformers move in to clean it up, and it goes on living either in a slightly different form or in a slightly different part of town.

Some of the first New York peeping can be traced back as early as the 1830's in Downtown.

"The Five Points was notorious," the book recounts, "with 27 of the 43 blocks surrounding Paradise Square hosting brothels in whose windows girls in varying stages of undress paraded to lure street trade."

A reformer named John Robert McDowall took it upon himself to arouse the anger of the more genteel citizenry, publishing a screed on the sex business.

About a decade later, sex was thriving in paperback, as publishers like William Haynes put out cheap erotic novels like "Confessions of a Lady's Waiting Maid."

In response to rising naughtiness after the Civil War, Anthony Comstock formed something of a one-man vice squad. According to "Gotham," he particularly loathed pornography, saying it "steals upon our youth in the home, school, and college, silently striking its terrible talons into their vitals."

By 1874 Mr. Comstock had seized 130,000 pounds of books and 194,000 "bad pictures." Still, smut lived on.

Broadway began a decline during the Depression, when burlesque and second-run movies thrived. But it was the Times Square of the 1970's that is most associated with places like Peep-O-Rama, whose closing to make room for a new tower was first reported yesterday in The Daily News.

Like Comstock and McDowall before him, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani felt it was his duty to rid Times Square of wickedness. And his efforts appear to have been successful. Still, just to the west on Eighth Avenue, the next reformer might find a buffet of debauchery.

In addition to the various forms of peep, there are the traditional strip clubs. At a place like Stiletto, the girls are seen in their all-together, but no alcohol is served. At Private Eyes, just off Eighth on 45th Street, the dancers only go topless, but there is a fully stocked bar.

The most crowded pornography stops along the avenue are the video stores.

Asked why people would want to shop in public for what they can now get online or through their cable provider, Tom, the owner of a Triple X video store on the avenue, explained, "People who like these tapes like to come in and check out the boxes front ways, side ways, upside down, every way."

History Wrestles Commerce in Meatpacking District
By DENNY LEE (NYT, 8/11/02)

The three-year drive to confer landmark status on the meatpacking district is taking on a new urgency. What began as a low-key investigation of warehouses and blood-soaked Belgian blocks has quickened this summer into a race that pits preservationists against developers.

"We're hitting a critical juncture," said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "Several development projects are moving forward that would denigrate the historic sensibility of this neighborhood. If the landmark designations were in place, they could be shaved in a way that is more appropriate."

But time is not on their side. Groundbreaking will start any day on the Hotel Gansevoort, a 12-story structure at Gansevoort and Hudson Streets. The land is currently an empty parking lot. The project is being billed as a first-class boutique hotel that will draw on the area's growing cachet. It is scheduled to open next August, with 188 rooms, a zinc facade and a rooftop swimming pool.

"It's a very modern signature building, where the most significant feature are bay windows," said Stephen Jacobs, the hotel's architect. "Once you get above the third or fourth floor, you can see over the low buildings, which will hopefully, at some point, be the new historic district."

A second project, a 32-story mixed-use residential tower, is planned for a block at Little West 12th and Washington Street. A local restaurant owner, Florent Morellet, describes the slim, silvery-black building, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, as "beautiful." But as a leader in the preservation campaign Save Gansevoort Market, he opposes the residential intrusion.

"It's smack in the middle of meat markets and clubs," said Mr. Morellet, who owns the restaurant Florent on Gansevoort Street. "If you put in residents, you put these clubs and markets in jeopardy. It will hurt the equilibrium."

The Nouvel tower requires a variance allowing residential use in a manufacturing zone. A final hearing before the Board of Standards and Appeals is set for Oct. 30.

At the same time, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is studying the designation of the neighborhood as a historic district, but the proposal may not be officially considered until late fall, by which point the tower may already be approved.

So far, preservationists have collected more than 5,000 postcards in support of a historic district, bounded roughly by West 16th, Horatio, Hudson and West Streets. They are also seeking to have the district added to the state and national historic registers. Last month, the state took the significant step of declaring the area eligible for review. "It's all coming to a head right now," Mr. Berman said.
David Bowie's metropolitan 5 borough tour includes a Thursday night at Jimmy's Bronx Cafe, a giant boite on Fordham Rd. at the University bridge connecting to upper Manhattan. Great venue for seeing his latest act and not too far from Arthur Ave, little Italy of the Bronx. If I know you or you think I'd like to know you, you're welcome to stop by the dreambot domain after the show for an apertif. Just email me earlier in the week of your visit.


[This message was edited by dreambot on 10-27-02 at 01:30 PM.]
Last edited {1}
We've been noticing this for a while now, but as we sat outside at brunch today, four very low-flying planes (commercial passenger) flew overhead - one in particular which was the lowest-flying plane I have ever seen here - we thought it was def another 9/11 story. Anyone know why they are suddenly allowing planes to fly this low, seemingly straight down Fifth Avenue?
Anyone else noticed it? mad
Yes I definitely noticed it, Chi. About 2PM I was walking with my roommate in the EV and we both noticed 2 passenger planes flying really low. I'm sure the always-rotten NY1 will have coverage on it sometime later next month.

I'm on the top floor of a 6-story building and can hear air traffic all the time. Today it's noisier than ever. Keep your eye on the skies!
Those of us who reside in the West have been experiencing that for many months, planes flying incredibly low, in a northward direction up the Hudson Street/Sixth Avenue corridor, before landing (I assume) at LaGuardia.
Seems they switched all that today, as our skies are blissfully quiet. Not sure why, but we are coming upon the anniversary of the Flight 587 crash. Perhaps they wish to redirect all flight paths away from Belle Harbor for a bit.
Last edited {1}
Using Hudson St and 6th Avenue for a reference point, an explanation of the airspace and altitude restrictions: The airspace over that portion of Manhattan is what is called Class Bravo, formerly know as a Terminal Control Area (TCA). It extends from the surface to 7,000 feet. Within this airspace all aircraft are under positive control of ATC (Air Traffic Control). I don't know the minimum vectoring altitude (the lowest altitude a controller can assign an aircraft when directly assigning altitude and heading) since it is not published on navcharts, but in a book called the TERPS which is the procedural guide for controllers. The Federal Aviation Regulations on this subject are as follows;

§91.177 Minimum altitudes for IFR operations.
(Note: all major carriers operate IFR)

(a) Operation of aircraft at minimum altitudes. Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft under IFR below --

(1) The applicable minimum altitudes prescribed in parts 95 and 97 of this chapter; or

(2) If no applicable minimum altitude is prescribed in those parts --

(i) In the case of operations over an area designated as a mountainous area in part 95, an altitude of 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 4 nautical miles from the course to be flown; or

(ii) In any other case, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 4 nautical miles from the course to be flown.

However, if both a MEA and a MOCA are prescribed for a particular route or route segment, a person may operate an aircraft below the MEA down to, but not below, the MOCA, when within 22 nautical miles of the VOR concerned (based on the pilot's reasonable estimate of that distance).

(b) Climb. Climb to a higher minimum IFR altitude shall begin immediately after passing the point beyond which that minimum altitude applies, except that when ground obstructions intervene, the point beyond which that higher minimum altitude applies shall be crossed at or above the applicable MCA.

§91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
Note: This applies to IFR and VFR operations, meaning everyone)

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.

Hope this helps!

Last edited {1}
Balducci's Closes Landmark Store

Jan 8, 2003 7:18 am US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) NEW YORK Balducci's, the gourmet market known for its rare and exotic food products, has closed its flagship store in Greenwich Village, its owner said.

The landmark store, which had occupied the same storefront since the 1970s, was shuttered at closing time on Tuesday, and plans were being made to reopen in a different location.

Clifford Smith, the CEO of the Maryland-based Sutton Place Gourmet chain, which bought Balducci's from its original founders in 1999, said the store had become difficult to maintain and required more modern equipment.

''It's an old, tired store,'' Smith told The New York Times in Wednesday's editions. ''The amount of work to bring that store up to a reasonable standard is prohibitive. What we were trying to do was negotiate a deal where we could do both.''

A second Balducci's store, located near Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side, would be unaffected by the closing, Smith said.

Three sites in lower Manhattan were being considered as possible new locations for the store, the Daily News reported. It was not clear when the new market would open.
East Village News....
They are closing down the last remaining butchers/fishmongers in the hood (13th/First Av) ... boo-hoo.. last of the mom and pop shops around.. how sad ... i bet they open a Starbucks there or something equally as daft... Gee i remember when i lived in an East Village neighbourhood .. now I think I live in the New Jersey Mall...
Okay, technically this isn't in 'town' as such, but we'll overlook that for our purposes...
the best local radio station is in New Jersey. In fact, outside of a classical station I like once in a while, NYC has total bullshit for radio. I don't understand it. Nobody understands this. It simply doesn't make sense.

Regardless, the station is 91.1 WFMU, broadcasting from Jersey City. a lot of folks on the east side and into Brooklyn and Queens can't receive it from the interferance of buildings and radars and that sinsiter juju in the air.

For them, there is hope: has availible stream via RealAudio, (which is a slight compromise IMHO, real does a bit of piggybacked advertising, I think), or through Windows Media Player. It sounds great when you send the channel through your receiver.

What really knocks me out is, if you don't like what's on the live webcast, you can listen to archived shows up to two weeks after it's been aired.

Their website is really comprehensive, exceptionally detailed and navigatable. These folks are outstanding, and have some pretty excellent taste. I mean, hell if I know,...maybe most folks here actually like to listen to dance music outside of clubs...
Wasn't sure where to post this as it doesn't exactly qualify under the "nightclub crackdown" forum. This little club sounds intriquing ....


The New York Times
April 20, 2003

NEW YORK CITY may have only 300 people left who want to get dressed up and dance to house music all night. But that is exactly the point at Cielo, a dance club that opened in the meatpacking district in the West Village in January "” especially when a portion of the clientele appears to be South American models.

Unlike so many of the big clubs that have closed down recently, Cielo seems more tailored to the times, like a private party hidden from the uninvited. On a recent Saturday evening, men lined up outside Cielo under an old sign that said: "Nyack Meat Co. Turkeys any size." There was no cover charge or guest list.

The only way in: be "friends" with one of the owners or be selected by the doorman as an "interesting character." Inside, it felt like the private disco of a 1970's international playboy. The walls and ceilings were covered with biomorphic foam tubes upholstered with retro brown ultrasuede, interspersed with plexiglass tubes of amber light. Patrons had little choice but to interact with strangers; besides a sunken dance floor in the middle of the room with a disco ball and a small smoking area in the garden outside, there was nowhere to go.

"I wanted the space to feel safe and cozy to counteract all the anxiety in the world," said the designer, Stephane Dupoux, who also did Pearl and Nikki Beach Club in Miami Beach.

In keeping with its private party ambience, the owners of Cielo don't seem to care about pleasing anyone besides their friends. The D.J.'s don't spin any Top 40 hip-hop or rock, only house music with a Latin twist. (Cielo frequently brings in big-name D.J.'s like Tony Humphries and Brian Tappert but doesn't advertise.) "Because we're so small, we don't have to let anyone in who might ruin the vibe," said Nicholas Matar, an owner and D.J.

At 2 on a recent Sunday morning, D.J. Pippi, of the nightclub Pacha in Ibiza, Spain, was spinning. Models in the latest designer gear were dancing alongside a crowd decked out in fedoras and cowboy hats with suits.

Claudia Oyanedel, 26, a model from Chile who is with the Elite agency, had just arrived. "New York really needed a place like this," she said. Nearby, Fabian Basabe, 25, and Cynthia Moureto, 25, were salsa dancing as if they were contestants on "Dance Fever."

"My only complaint," said Mr. Basabe, who grew up in Ecuador, "there's no podium for me to get up and dance on."

I know I am notorious for being severely optimistic and sweet when I see personal reports of new and fabulous ideas and trends, but I now I see no other course of comment, save for the negative. Does the New York Times hire high school reporter wannabes now? The writing is so bad I can't even concentrate on naysaying the club full of South American DJs who are playing house while the uninvited patrons lounge with strangers on brown plexiglass. Or whatever it said.
I too am far too jaded to believe what is the new "hot spot" and even more suspect is a piece (sorry Lexy-kins) that mentions the word "MODEL" in every line... from now on i want to be refered to as Model-Janey B (Ok so the only model I could be is a friggin hand model...but hey!)... the idea of a place in the meat packing district downstairs, underground, more word of mouth, full of cute happening folk... with a fab DJ and a strict door policy..... why that sort of thing is never for real anyhow is it Empress and Daddy?
well damn then - I stand corrected, girls! Granted the use of the "model" word turned me off right away too. And to open a club in the new SoHo (the Meatpacking District) is not exactly cutting edge - much less desirable - these days, c'est vrai!! Still though, I liked the "no guest list" angle and the idea of having to be invited in, kind of like going to someone's house.
I'd like to reiterate something that might be lacking from my posts: I REALLY do not look for things to knock. I know most of you get it, but for those that don't, well, there it is. I'd like to explain why I usually am one of the first to be obnoxious.
I'm all for a new fun party, but when the party has to push the fact that they want only the trendy and famous to come, and we SHOULD come because there are those people, they blanket the fact that the party needs more OOMPH. If the party is as fab and private as they say, why all the snivelling? If it really is major, tell me what's a'happenin'! When I think of the wildest and funnest (yeah, I know) parties I've been to - Jackie's and Cabaret M. included - my exclamation's go,
"Oh my! I fell down the stairs and spilled 3 drinks on myself. So-and-so was unbelievable! And so-and-so ended up crawling on the bar..." and so on. Not,
"You know, there was NO line and it was very discrete. There were really famous people there, too. Everyone was in a label. I think I made a contact."
If you have words to eloquently describe ambiance and decor after a shindig, it was NOT the best time of your life.
Last edited {1}
So... i was watching the crappy Fox news last night and both on Fox and WB11 there was in interesting local story.... On 14th St, the newsagents next to the KFC on 2nd Av., (the very same news store that Amadu Diallo used to sell CDs out side of) has been fined over $2,000, so has the next door internet caff - reason being .... the store signs outside have too many words on them! Yup.. there is an ancient law that states you can only state the name of the store, the phone # and address. What nutty bollocks is this! All the stores on 14th are being fined! Unbelievable!
I sort of worry that i might soon be fined for breathing too many in breaths and not enough out breaths... it might come to that soon...
We knew it was coming. $500,000 for a condo in ugly-ass Williamsburg? Me thinks not.


By Rachelle Garbarine
May 16, 2003

Betting that the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn will continue to attract deep-pocketed apartment buyers, two sets of developers are readying new condominiums with sale prices averaging under $500 a square foot, one a newly constructed building and the other a converted guitar factory.

The new building is on Bedford Avenue, a main commercial strip already dotted with galleries and boutiques. Called Bedford Court, it has 32 apartments in a four-story building nearing completion on a lot at South First Street formerly occupied by a small vacant commercial structure. Joseph Scarpinito and Shiraz Sanjana, working as South First Street Associates of Brooklyn, are developing the $10 million project.

The other building, a few blocks away on Broadway, considered the border between the Northside and South Williamsburg neighborhoods, contains 130 lofts carved out of a 10-story factory where the Gretsch company once made guitars and other musical instruments. Martin Wydra and his brother, Edward, second-generation builders from Brooklyn, are doing the $75 million conversion.

In the last two years, several condominium developments "” some of them newly built and others renovations of existing buildings "” have taken shape in or near Northside, amid the myriad rental buildings that have drawn Manhattanites to the area. Among the earlier condominiums are Williamsburg Mews at 100 Havemeyer Street, with 24 apartments, and the renovation of the Smith & Gray building at 138 Broadway into 40 condos. Brokers said those units sold for an average of $400 a square foot.

At Bedford Court, the average price per square foot will be $470, or $209,900 to $539,900 for the studio to two-bedroom apartments, said Helene Luchnick, an executive vice president at Douglas Elliman and the project's sales agent. The apartments will be 498 to 1,184 square feet. The five penthouses, at 980 to 1,414 square feet and two or three bedrooms, will cost $539,900 to $729,900. Sales are to begin next month.

At the Gretsch Building, prices are expected to average $470 to $490 a square foot, or $250,000 to $1.3 million. The studio to three-bedroom apartments will have about 620 to 2,000 square feet of space, said Tricia H. Cole, an executive vice president at Corcoran Group Marketing and the project's sales agent.

Prices are expected to be $1.2 million to $2.5 million for the five penthouses, which will have 2,000 to 3,400 square feet of space. Construction on a two-story penthouse addition is expected to begin soon.

Final prices will be set and sales will begin when the building's offering plan is accepted by the New York State attorney general's office, which the developers expect to happen within the next two months.

"The neighborhood is the latest alternative for people priced out of Manhattan," said Ms. Cole. "They get an apartment in a full-service building that would cost at least $800 a square foot in TriBeCa, and all they need to do is cross the bridge."

Ms. Luchnick estimated that several projects in the development stage would generate 100 more condominium apartments in Williamsburg in the next year.

Mr. Sanjana said he and his partner bought the Bedford Court site 18 months ago "because it is on a prime street in the heart of an evolving neighborhood." All Bedford Court apartments have balconies or terraces. Amenities at the limestone and brick building, designed by Felix Tambasco of Brooklyn, include a health club, a roof deck and 22 parking spaces.

Martin Wydra said he bought the largely vacant Gretsch building 18 months ago because of its location near the Williamsburg Bridge and along a major thoroughfare. At 10 stories, he added, it is among the tallest structures in the area, and its apartments have views of the East River and Manhattan. It is also the largest of four buildings Gretsch had used in Williamsburg.

Apartments will have, among other features, ceilings at least 12 feet high. Many will also have fireplaces. The building will be staffed with doormen, and planned amenities include a library, a 100-car garage and possibly a health club. The architects are Gene Kaufman of Manhattan and Karl Fischer of Montreal.

The building will have new plumbing, heating and windows when completed next year. But the name etched at its top, Gretsch Building No. 4, will remain. Showcased in its lobby will be two vintage Gretsch guitars.

Watch Where You Sit

It appears the city budget crunch has reduced the NYPD to writing some rather absurd tickets. A Bronx man claims he was given a summons for sitting on a milk crate outside the hair salon where he works on the Grand Councourse. The ticket says "unauthorized use of a milk crate."

Is this all getting more an more Pythoneque... wonder if i will get a ticket for sitting on the WBC World Champ.... hummmmm ?
I too (like Miss U) am addicted to my "Chinese Bodega" massage places.... just found one that is my absolute FAVE... check it out....
Chinese Tui Na, 442 E 14th (btw 1st and A near to A)... Chinese herbalists and Accupressure... CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! $22 for 30mins ($5 extra for chinese herb foot soak).... J.Q. was the bloke i had who was fab... so fab that the problem i have had (two numb toes) was cured!!! It was a trapped area that he pressed after much ow ow ow! it was fab!
Check it out... nice folk, no frills, smells all Chinese Herbalist office (herbalist on site)..enjoy!
The milk crate ticket is not such a new tactic in the 'quality of life' repertoir of uncivil behavior as defined by the previous ultra-fascist mayor ( and how did he become a reconstituted national hero - the guy who was once roundly boo'ed upon taking his seat at the Met opera house? ). I myself am the very proud earner of two wonderfully Khafka meets Joseph Heller summonses. One, for 'non-compliance with bicycle regulations' -translation: I got a ticket for riding my bike in the park. Now what are you supposed to do in a park? And they wanted my social security number for that ticket -"No, no, no," I said to the twenty year old cop. The second is my favorite, "Unnecessary noise." The circumstances were completely banal and absurd. I was playing my drum in the park, right next to the Ave. B. bus stop (me, noisier than the bus?). The woman cop couldn't find the right numerical code and correct wording of the infraction to write on the summons she was handing out to me. She called her beat partner on the walkie, he showed up, he couldn't find the infraction listed in his manual either. They radio over a third cop. He is dumb too. Then a fourth cop. He also draws a blank. Finally the shift supervisor motors over on a scooter, its the lieutenant. He couldn't find the name of the infraction either but his brass inspired the subordinants to finally locate it in the fine print of their manuals. But by then I'm sitting on a park bench, surrounded by five cops and half the population of the park gathered round probably wondering when the beatdown is going to start. Then the bus pulls up at the stop not 30 feet away and the cops start shouting at each other over the bus din to write me a ticket for making unnecessary noise.

[This message was edited by seven on 07-11-03 at 01:41 PM.]
Last edited {1}
JD and I used to donate to it till we heard the truth about it from some homeless buddies in the neighborhood. It's not an organization, but each homeless rents the rig (begging jar, table, etc.) from headquarters then gets to keep whats left over. So it is technically helping the homeless, but one at a time. I prefer to just give dollars to individual and charismatic homeless in my nabes.
In the 10 years that I have lived in NYC, I have seen the stretch of Broadway between Houston and Canal St turn into a strip mall. Where once it was Dean & Deluca as the only destination on this stretch, just about every chain is now there, and Soho and the LES have collided on this stretch.

It has become so congested over the years with the shoppers/tourists, that I, a resident who lives on Broadway below Canal, cannot even walk down this strip, and I walk down Crosby now.

But now in the old Canal St Jeans location, a Bloomingdales is coming in Spring 2004! God, I grew up with going to Bloomingdales at the mall in suburban Northern Virginia, and if I want to go to Bloomingdales, I will take the subway uptown, thank you very much. I don't want this downtown...and it will just congest this strip even further.

Just more of mall-ization of NYC.
I work at a shop on Bleecker St. near Christopher in the West Village. I am really getting irked by the number of tourists who stick their head into the shop and ask me where the nearest Starbucks is. They are searching blindly for a Starbucks amid a plethora of privately owned gourmet coffee and espresso bars and cafes with their own unique decor etc. Why are these people even leaving home in the first place? Everywhere in the U.S. seems to be destined to be like everywhere else, no matter how unique the locale.

One other point I'd like to make is that the neighborhood I work in has had more than half of the shops closed since I started working there 2 and a half years ago. The landlords all want higher rents than anyone can afford in the present economy, and many are sticking their tenents with the raised property taxes that the city has recently levied. Who can afford to move into the quaint old village now? Chain stores from Everywhere, USA.
I love Bloomingdale's, but I have no desire to have one downtown. And you're right, Randella, lower Broadway has become so congested that I don't like walking through there anymore either.

Years ago I worked for an interior designer whose office was on East 58th Street & Second Avenue. At that time Bloomingdale's was in danger of closing, and in fact they declared bankruptcy but were later bought by somebody. I'm glad they stayed in business, it's a New York institution. But not downtown.

I still like NYC, but it has become a giant surburban shopping mall.
I too have been unable to relate to that stretch of Broadway now for over three or four years. I find myself walking faster on those blocks just to get past it in a hurry. It feels very foreign to downtown. It is a kind of malady that people want to come from smaller locales outside NYC and hunt down a Starbucks in Manhattan. It is part of the 'civilizing' function of corporations. I wonder what is going to happen when the New Museum moves from that stretch to a property on the Bowery near Houston. It would be great if Kmart moved in and 'busted' the high ticket cachet of the block.
Well, summer is ending, and school is back in session. Thanks to the encroaching sprawl of NYU all over town, we all have witness to the invasion of these spotted cherubic youths, and yes there is even a dorm for them down here in Tribeca, so I see them on the street, in the deli buying beer, and waiting for the NYU bus to take them up to the "campus."

What saddens me is I think about when I first visited NYC 20 years ago and how glorious (and dirty) the city was, and then the nightclubs that I visited 15 years ago on my jaunts here, and then the city that I moved to a decade ago. That doesn't exist anymore- the creativity, tolerance, diversity, glamorous sleaze, and frenetic energy are either gone or changed (seemingly for the worse). So I feel for these youths, as they don't know what they are missing, or what the city used to be. Sure, NYC is better than Nebraska or Iowa, or even Long Island or NJ, but it saddens me that these kids (who were born when I was making trips to NYC in the mid 1980s) will not know what made New York so magical.

I know the past is just that, past. However, what does the future hold for New York City... more homogenization, more gentrification, more republicans, or what?
In the UK the student accomodations are normally in the worst/cheapest part of town.... Why is this not so here in NYC (i know $$$). But it would really make sense... If they stuck all the students out in the Bronx or even converted a row of brownstones that are now derelect up on Lennox or smth.. it would i think improve that area around cos students spend $ etc. It still breaks my heart when i pass The Palladium- DORMS! Why that building/club before was not a listed building is beyond me..ahhh the memories I had in that place too......
The Meatpacking District has now been granted offical landmark status by the powers that be. But with everything that once made that neighborhood interesting either gone completely or stifled by the tidal wave of bottle service assholes, does the title really matter?


Blood on the Street, and It's Chic
September 11, 2003

Michael Diamond walked past the trucks for Woolco, Sysco and the meat purveyors yesterday as he crossed Little West 12th Street. A famed rap performer and Spiritual Guy, he is the obligatory Beastie Boy on hand to assure the followers of fashion eating brunch at outdoor cafes that they had arrived at the scene of a scene.

It was another day in Gansevoort Market, a neighborhood described by its boosters as "gritty." Though the streets are still cobblestone and in some places covered in the blood of cattle, the century-old meat markets have in recent years lost some ground to other sorts of meat markets:, nightclubs and boutiques patrolled by skinny women and men with expensive sunglasses.

Gritty sells, though. Gritty evokes a New York of gangs and huddling masses, and it attracts filmmakers and clubgoers seeking a veneer of danger. So the owners of disparate businesses in this neighborhood have formed an unlikely alliance to preserve certain parts of the market's appearance. This week, they won designation by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission for a historic district in an area bordered by 14th and 15th Streets on the north, Horatio Street on the south, West Street on the west and Hudson Street on the east.

The district's borders are a puzzle piece in part because this is a neighborhood where the streets of the old Greenwich Village grid collide at a 45-degree angle with those of the Manhattan grid. The designation requires approval by the commission for any significant alterations to the facades of buildings within the boundaries.

Perhaps the most readily apparent examples of the neighborhood's distinctive architecture are the metal awnings jutting out from the brick facades, put here to provide shade and an anchor for the pulleys that workers use to load carcasses from trucks to warehouses.

"It has a completely unique sense of place," said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, a group that worked to secure the designation. "It's for that reason that it's become popular in recent years. The trick is not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg."

Mr. Berman has found allies in the meatpacking unions and restaurant owners, who have collectively decided that the goose-killers they have in mind are developers of residential real estate.

Already at the spot where the cobblestone of Gansevoort Street meets the asphalt of Hudson Street, there rises a sleek silver exoskeleton with panels befitting a spaceship and balconies too small for chairs, a project of the Hotel Gansevoort Group of Garden City. On the western side of the market, the developer Stephen Touhey has proposed a 32-story luxury building to straddle the old High Line railroad.

The historic designation, Mr. Touhey said, will not affect his plans because his battlefield is at the Department of City Planning, which oversees zoning.

"My plan has always been to build a building that fits in with the historic architecture of the neighborhood," Mr. Touhey said, adding that his plans were changing to build something more like a hotel than a condominium building.

The business owners-cum-preservationists say they do not want people to live here because residents would inevitably complain about the traffic and the noise and the mess that industry produces.

Florent Morellet, owner of the restaurant that bears his first name and a chief campaigner for the historic district designation, conceded that he himself made residential development appealing by opening a French bistro among the warehouses.

"Progress is inevitable," Mr. Morellet said. "What I'm trying to do with this is to try to channel it."

There were no historic districts to channel development and change a century ago, when this district actually was residential. People moved into tenements here in the 1820's to escape epidemics in what was then the main part of New York. The neighborhood shifted to become a market, first for produce and, after the development of reliable refrigeration, for meat. Gansevoort Market became a commercial district, its looks of concern to few.

Walmir Meats is among the meatpackers that still operate here. Its owners and unions joined the campaign for a historic district.

"Nothing ever stays the same," said Raymond DeStefano, shop steward at Walmir for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342. "But when they're squeezing you out and you could only buy a hot dog in a boutique, that's what it all boils down to."

Mr. DeStefano said that the smell of the block is in his blood and in the cobblestone. He stood under a series of hooks as he said this, and bleeding hindquarters and forequarters swung around his head, producing the smell he spoke of.

Walmir Meats is cold. Décor is limited to a small plastic cow, picture postcards of skiers and a portrait of Miss September pulling at her teddy as if it is full of sand.

"Once this is gone, this whole block is gone," Mr. DeStefano said.

Signs abound of the delicate balance between true grit and those using grit as a backdrop to underscore their beauty. Across from Western Beef, there is a series of stores each selling the wares of a different Western European designer, with a maximum of five outfits on display in the middle of a wide space, smooth surfaces and inventive lighting. Lampposts jut out from the old brick facades. Four of them atop the Rio Mar restaurant illuminate an outsized billboard featuring a woman standing next to a printed name, offering a pouting glare to the diners across the street as if to say "Look but don't touch" or perhaps "I have recently watched the film `Amélie.' " It is unclear what the billboard is selling, but the model's clothes are a solid bet.

"The charm is that it's so diverse," said Birgitte West, a vice president of Bodum, a Danish purveyor of household goods that is converting a meatpacking warehouse into a call center to sell fancy kitchenware on the Internet. "It does smell of meat in the morning."

Last edited {1}
I did some work for about a month for Woolco foods once around '91. They are purveyors -sell provisions to Manhattan's restaurants from the five star to the falafel joints. Met one of the co-owners because we took care of his one-eyed, thirteen-year-old doberman once a month from Friday night to Sunday morning. He paid us $800 cash for that. That is actually how we paid our rent! He would roll up in a white Rolls to our place at 11th and Ave. B. across the street from what then was a huge burnt out shooting gallery, step out, hold up a roll of cash the size of a coffee can and peel off our renumeration. The two other co-owners of Woolco were also characters, pistol packing, thick-skinned types. The thing that will eventually sink the meatpacking district will be when Woolco and the several other hold-out businesses get squeezed from their property.
From my dog community newsletter:

This Sunday, 10/5, will be the 2003 Cathedral of St. John the Divine Blessing of the Animals and St. Francis Day Fair, attended every year by huge
crowds of New Yorkers and their pets, along with a procession of both exotic and domestic animals from around the world. line up by 9am for tickets to the 11am service (dogs welcome, of course) and indoor procession of the animals. afterward, the fair begins at 1pm in the gardens next to the Cathedral. admission to both events is free. the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is on Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street. all parts of the event are designed to promote the message of compassion for all living creatures, most rescue organizations have adoption and outreach clinics on the Cathedral grounds that day.
One would hope that these clubs might construct themselves somewhat accordion-style with rooms that could be open or closed depending on the night of the week, which might have a better chance of working.
The one that seems to have the most promise IMHO is Crobar which seems to be modeling itself on the legendary Area and may actually have the guts and gumption to pull it off. They have hired both Michael Tron and Gilbert to oversee and that can only be a blessing, as they are both geniuses.
However, Avalon, with its hiring of absolute nobodies like Eve Salvail at $500 per night to be "taste-makers" (what?) is way off-mark and reeks of crooked money-laundering and wastefulness.
I suppose all of them will be sniffing around Wonder Bar and Magique very shortly for new and fresher ideas!
At the very least, this trend should bang the final nails into the Meat Market's financial coffin. Bye-bye Rabin!
Last edited {1}
Thanks for posting the link, Randella. For all its hype about the new clubs opening, somehow this article was not very encouraging. The best thing about the article was reading how the local community board was -- for once -- powerless to stop all these clubs from opening. That's refreshing to hear, and more power to the new entrepreneurs who are trying to make a difference, forge ahead and reinvent the nightclubbing experience.

David Rabin once again shows everyone what an asshole he is by lamenting the hard times of the dot-comers, as if he had any true understanding of what makes a club cool to begin with. His corporate approach to nightclubbing, with its emphasis on the Hamptons wannabe-bottle service-Hilton sisters crowd, is the very antithesis of what makes a great club great. Furthermore history has shown that the state of the ecomony is hardly a barometer of a successful club scene. Nightlife can thrive during prosperous times, like most of the 80s, but it can also thrive during economic crisis too, like NYC's fiscal bankruptcy of the late 70s or the recession of the Dinkins era early 90s. So Rabin is completely full of shit and himself as usual. I say death to V.I.P. rooms in general, its such a tired concept that should be swept away like last night's used plastic cups and cocktail napkins. The powers that be behind Avalon sound so behind the times and pathetic. I agree Hattie that Crobar has the best chance since the owners are getting back to basics (as well as the new owners of the old Twilo space -- sounds interesting).

And what's with this bit about downplaying the 20-somethings and ravers? Wake up. Sure, there are plenty of older people and old schoolers (like myself) who still go out to clubs and support them. Such people add history, inspiration, and variety and shake up the mix. But by and large the 20-somethings are the driving force behind most club cultures here and across the world, the people with energy to burn, who don't have kids or mortgages, who can handle partying all night and still bounce off to work at 9 a.m. the next morning, who don't yet have big careers to manage, who are hungry and want to be stars, who have just left Mom & Dad's house and want to experiment and try new things. The punk movement wasn't started by "mature" people, it was the kids. The electroclash movement may have been launched by old schoolers like Larry Tee, but it was largely the kids who bought it and kept it going. Hell, partying your ass off is what you're supposed to do when you're in your 20s -- it's natural. Downplaying their influence and participation and alienating them is a stupid mistake if you ask me.

And again we have the obligatory anti-drug crusade honorable mention. I'm so over that. While I personally don't need to do drugs to have fun and party, the fact is drugs are inexorably linked to the institution of nightclubbing and always will be. People are kidding themselves if they really think the squeaky-clean version of nightlife that is currently being peddled to us is really going to fly. First and foremast, it's a PARTY. And when people want to party, they really want to cut loose, get wild and completely, totally relax. You can't have a cool club in an atmosphere where the police and city government hyper-regulate and micro-manage everybody up the ass and padlock everyone's pussy. I hate to sound like a bitter pessimist after everything I've said on these Boards about contributing to nightlife and trying to make a difference. I honestly do salute everybody out there trying to launch new things and for all our sakes I hope it works. But frankly until the crackdown climate at City Hall changes and a sense of real freedom returns to the bar experience, I really don't see the club scene improving much. I hope I'm wrong.

[This message was edited by Luxury Lex on 11-09-03 at 01:48 PM.]
Last edited {1}
The new clubs reported to be gearing up in Chelsea are more a reaction of opportunism. Although I am sure some backers and producers are really inspired and want to bring the city back to life partywise. The club going in to the old Twilo space, which is supposedly going to be called Spirit, would be the most different concept being put to the test, is actually a franchise from its Irish flagship, and if you ask me its ammenities ( a raw food restaurant, a resident dance company ) are a kind of well thought out camouflage for what will still just be a club that generates all the things the Rudiany administration wanted to abolish. But maybe this whole development is going to be a kind of minor turning point, whether the city has a majority of nightlife producers and participants who want to rescue the city from its present dismal reputation as a party flat tire, or whether the whole wave of conservatism in local government paired with a few protectionist party collaborators will snuff nightlife in to a Republican version of a country club scene once and for all. I think what we are going to see is this kind of clash, that that is what the pile of new clubs opening is going to bring.

But what has arisen in the place of a phalanx of mega-clubs has a lot of desireable points. Smaller parties populated by the real party fanatics, perhaps a little more of the underground cachet, a situation that leaves promoters and producers feeling that creatively inspiring buzz that comes from knowing there is nothing left to lose and the crowd will be intent on blasting off.

As for the lip service to being anti-drug, and trying to go upscale with patrons, it is all public relations dishonesty. Drugs, whether at a club or anywhere else, are simply a part of our culture and have been for so long now it is simply naive to think a business, any business, has the ability to create some barrier. And as for the upscale, older set, what bottle bar is going to discourage a group running a four figure tab from doing their coke too?

The main incentive for all this is moola, baby.
If you love Lard and Latino's (thats me!) there's a fab CHEAP new 24 hour caff/and take out just opened on 14th st Near Ave B, "La Isla" (rotisserie Chicken and Latino grub)... Great for that 4am after a night out on the ale food... Funny how this area used to have SO MANY 24hr places but now it seems there are so few... bravo this new 24 place...
Talking 24hrs.... anyone know of a late/24hr hair/spa place in the hood....???
sorry honey, they're already here, crawling all over the place in packs of ten or more, drunk out of their ever living minds, screaming their putrid heads off all hours of any night, in their paltry rendition of american pie 'wild abandon' only to return the following morning to classes at Fordham U. (the Jesuit University). I heard tell that Mr. Christ died drinking for their sins.

OK so my new office is 6th av around 39th... these lil cheapo jewellery stores round here are killing me... do i really need another pair of earings (that i will never wear btw!).. guess they could live in my closet full of stilly shoes that I also never wear ('cept for boudoir events).... But any-ho, it's 50%OFF in MOST of these stores right now.. loads of showgirl diamante in all sorts of styles.. one of the best lil stores for selection/price I found was "design by Nova" 6th btw 37/38... silly cheap! Also around here, as you all know.. there's odd lil button stores where you can buy 'rinestone' machines! to custom sparkle your cord pants or smth.... it's a dress up fantasy round here... I keep forgetting that I am a muggle now and keep buying all sorts of shit.. so.. Big Chill sale on Diamonte..come on down and sparkle!!
Last edited {1}
No, the Anvil and the Toilet and trannie hookers were there before Jackie. And the meat packers. And gay guys cruising Wash. Street and adjourning to have sex in the parked & unlocked trucks. "The Trucks" was code for sex outdoors over there. not to mention the abandoned piers that were sex circuses all night every night.
Last but not least, there were the go-go luncheonettes where you could dance at high noon on the luncheonette counter to the meat packers packing in their meat sandwiches before going back to work.

Jackie/Mother was a decadent flourish on an already abounding subculture of meat industry, sex clubs, strolls, and other perverse entertainments. Hogs & Heifers thought we (Jackie-ites) were soooo awful (queer). Well those Hogs still there, somehow, along with the few meat-packers. Hate to say it but we were probably one "civilizing" influence (artists) that drew some attention to the primo real estate spaces down there. Now if they can just get the ground-in scent of blood out of their floors.

[This message was edited by S'tan on 03-12-04 at 08:27 PM.]
Last edited {1}
Anyone who has ever been to the original Whole Foods in Austin, TX would join me in spitting on the baby vegetables for sale in these superstore aberrations. There it was all about buying in bulk: flour, rice and granola scooped from large bins yourself, cheap prices, and best of all, the ability to sample furiously before you bought. Here you would be shot on sight if so much as a grape goes in your mouth before it's paid for.
For me, it's the Essex Market and good ole Western Beef!

And as for Williamsburg, isn't it full of hired actors dressed in old-fashioned clothes pretending to do quaint outdated things? Oh... that's the one in Virginia?
Last edited by hatches
Three and a half years ago, when the Wholefoods store was opening on 7th Ave. and 25th St. I sent them a resume. On my cover letter I informed them that I was transgendered. They called me in for an interview, which I had to rush to from Healthy Pleasures, where I was then working. They wouldn't give me any extra time to get there. When I got there everyone I encountered was quite rude to me. There was a really rotten attitude among those folks. At that time, I was working for Healthy Pleasures, as a cashier. Healthy Pleasures was run by very sadistic people who were extremely mean to their workers. Yet I gladly returned there to work rather than at Wholefoods. I have since cringed every time some one gushes about Wholefoods, and have never once shopped there.

Strawberry Fields on Bleecker St. and Lifethyme on 6st Ave. (between 8th and 9th) supply me with decent prices on good produce. They are also very friendly and treat me like a person.
I've never understood the thing about 'organic'
produce, or anything else, costing twice as much as non-organic produce. What's the point of eating healthy if you don't have enough cash left to pay your phone bill? I mean if the growers aren't using all sorts of pesticides and fertilizer shouldn't that mean their costs are less, and subsequently the price tag at retail should be less? Total scam.
The thing about organic is that it costs more because the growers aren't able to produce it in the same volume as the big companies that do use pesitcides. But of course they use fertilizers, just not ones that have all kinds of chems in 'em to stimulate growth and so forth.

True organic farming is no scam, but apparently there are a lof of producers out there billing their foodstuffs as organic while still using pesticides and chems and whatnot. There's apparently a grey legal line between what we think of as "organic" and what the FDA considers "organic". Shop wisely.

As for the high costs of eating right...well, it is *your* body, and what you put in it you're going to be. Just eat less if it pinches your purse; everyone can stand to lose a little weight, it's almost Summer.
It's not a scam, just capitalism's supply and demand in motion. Unprocessed food like brown rice always cost more even though it should be cheaper to produce. If people would just eat better healthy food would be cheaper.

People are easily fooled by marketing. They think Snapple is healthy because of marketing campaigns. It's not much different from Kool Aid. When I was a kid the "healthy" drink was Hi C because it was sugar water with a teaspoon of "REAL JUICE!". Now we have sugar water with "NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS OR FLAVORS!"

I admit Ioccasionally down a diet Snapple when I'm out, but when I'm home I just make a pitcher of real iced tea. It takes 5 minutes and it's so much better (and cheaper)
I must admit that DD's coffee is surprisingly good for a fast food joint. Who knew?

And Missy, things like "instant" iced tea are concepts I just don't get. And bottled salad dressing. Salad dressing takes 15 seconds to make from scratch. 2 seconds more than it takes to unscrew the Wishbone's cap off. That's convenient?
'ear yer are... something to make you even more gobsmacked about the East Village!

MORE YUPPIE SCUM NYU dorms - a new TOWER block to be built Tomkins Sq

Have always thought that they should stick these students in the kind of areas that I lived in when I was a student (basically any no-go area for most folk as it was the only place we could afford)... eg there are some amazing empty lots in East New York... or Bronx or pockets of Harlem... make the NYU scum put their money into those areas... not areas where working people are struggling to afford to live in... doesn't make sense... bah!!
Think I have to give my pay check to Class war now.
Erasing Charas/El Bohio is one of the most overt racist acts by the city in recent years, regarding real estate. No one in the current administration probably is old enough to even remember that E. 9th Street was totally burnt out, a no man's land in the 1970's. It was the people behind El Bohio along with other homesteaders who actually took over the block and began to redevelop it. And it was Charas' commitment to keeping the building as a community center without big money backing that preserved its many community-based programs for so many years. There was theater, a film series, all sorts of classes in art, writing and marshal arts, all taught by and for people- and mostly young people- in the neighborhood. They pulled off endless projects with practically no budget. "I think some of the best things were when we decided a project would cost $75,000, but we did it with nothing." -Chino Garcia, Charas. This was all founded on a kind of community ethos imported from the island, an ethos of leadership and protection based on a drive to have the neighborhood be self-determining about the socio-cultural health of the people who live there. If NYU moves in it is nothing but a kind of ethnic cleansing capitalist-style. Horror.
Last edited by seven
I remember seeing Phillips years ago on one of the last Tonight Shows with Johnny Carson. She was in the deep end with it and her facial expressions and motor skills were so distorted the camera couldn't keep up with her! Not to mention if the camera is supposed to put 10 lbs on you I don't want to think of what she actually looked like to the human eyeball.

Let's hope Harry does more than read! And I've always thought those London rags needed page 2 BOYS, not girls.
Cabs are fucking expensive now! I knew the hike was coming, and after what, seven years, cabbies deserve the raise probably. But gosh, it really hits you where it hurts. Sure wish they could have nickle and dimed their way up over a few years rather than all at once.

A cab from Chelsea to Park Slope Sunday night really knocked the wind out of me. We weren't to the middle of the Manhattan Bridge when the meter passed what is normally the entire fare home, including tip. Intoxicated and bitter, when the fare came to $18.20 and I handed over a 20 and asked for a dollar back, the cabbie protested and practically threw the remaning 80 cents back at me, cursing.

Living in Brooklyn as I do, I ALWAYS tip generously, knowing it's sometimes not so lucrative for a taxi to make the trip back into the city with no passengers. But after just shelling over an extra 4+ dollars, I couldn't help but protest in my small way.

It was surprising though that the cabbie reacted so furiously given that the new fare had been in effect all of two hours...
I am such a lazy git...always hailing cabs... note to self - this is getting more expensive than a crack habit... trying to wean myself onto public transport more often in the evenings.. also..cost of milk has sky rocketed.. do you think I could get my 3yr old to start drinking beer.. might be cheaper?

PS The alleged "whole foods" in the ole Bradlees space .. looks like its getting bigger and bigger construction seems to be building extra floors... surly the whole building won't be packed full of multi-grains? any more ideas of what this space will be...
And that 'dorm' on Avenue B... lordy Lord.
LUXURY LAPPING: Revenge of the Titty Bars?

A resurgence of name brand Las Vegas-style strip bars in midtown seems to be signaling a new era of "respectability" for the titty-twirlers and for New York. Not quite as sleazy as their Times Square predecessors, these new clubs are sleeker, bigger and more corporate in their approach, but it beats having no titty bars at all. Does this mean the Big Apple's sphincter is finally loosening again after so many years of Guiliani's attacks? Or is the sex industry just getting tamer? Does anyone know if strippers are still required to wear pasties to cover their nipples?

Meanwhile outside the clubs the hookers are making their way back, albeit slowly. Guess you can't keep a good woman down.

Dancing in the Lap of Luxury
The New York Times
Published: May 12, 2004

The chairs come in plush velvet or leather. There are main rooms, dining areas, private nooks and alcoves scented by candles. The multiple stages are bathed in high-tech lighting, Champagne flows, and the women, the main attraction, sparkle in glittery gowns - that is, until they strip down to their G-strings for a $20 lap dance.

But do not call them strippers. In this multimillion-dollar "gentlemen's club," they are "entertainers."

"The clients are classier and have more money, and the girls tend to be more educated and business-savvy," said Edniz Rivera, 23, an aspiring lawyer from Brooklyn who works as a dancer at the new Larry Flynt's Hustler Club in Manhattan. "There's a difference between saying, 'Hello, how are you?' and 'Yo. What's up?' "

Upscale strip clubs now call the West Side of Manhattan home, in neighborhoods not far from where seedier peep shows, topless bars and pornography stores once flourished in Times Square. In fact, with the opening of Penthouse Executive Club last June, Hustler and Scores WestSide in March and C.E.O. Club of New York last month, a cluster of half a dozen both new and old strip clubs now spreads from West Chelsea to upper Midtown in what a Scores telephone recording calls "Manhattan's new entertainment zone."

Dallas and Las Vegas are known for their luxurious strip clubs, which owners argue have helped make those cities big destinations for conventions and business travelers. But New York is just catching up with this type of entertainment; the political climate turned hostile to the industry in the 1990's when Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani vowed to stamp it out, or at least dilute it.

Mr. Giuliani ushered in zoning regulations that restricted where clubs, sex shops and bookstores and similar businesses could operate - at least 500 feet from schools, churches and each other, for example, and with only a portion of the premises' space devoted to sex-related activity - and succeeded in ridding the city of dozens of mostly small businesses. But the regulations had loopholes that have allowed most of the businesses to adjust and survive, and they also left areas zoned for manufacturing available for cabarets devoting 100 percent of their space to such activity as long as they do not exceed 10,000 square feet, city officials said.

Now, near the Hudson River, stripping is so unemcumbered that it comes with doormen, valet parking, renowned chefs and ads on billboards and television.

Some experts, like Dave Manack, associate publisher of Exotic Dancer Publications, argue that Mr. Guiliani's campaign may even have provided the impetus for the surge in fancy clubs, whose patrons increasingly include couples and women. "If you want to flourish, you have to present yourself as an upscale venue that would attract a large audience, not just men," he said.

But New York is also joining a nationwide trend, which involves not only more luxurious strip clubs but also more standardization, club owners said. Many of the newer clubs around the country use brand names like Penthouse under licensing deals. Angelina Spencer, national director of the Association of Club Executives, a trade association of strip clubs, said that chains have proliferated in the past five years, offering consistency in service and entertainment and going after volume.

"It's like the Wal-Mart stores eating up the mom-and-pop stores or going in competition with them," said Ms. Spencer, who owns a Penthouse club in Cleveland.

And an increase in upscale and bigger clubs is also creating more public acceptance, some club owners said.

"The market is increasing," said Brad Shafer, a lawyer for Hustler and other strip clubs. "The clubs are seeing more couples. There are women coming in together. It is becoming much more acceptable."

Women now hold bachelorette parties or birthday celebrations for husbands and boyfriends in such clubs, and even take striptease classes from the dancers.

Some nearby residents are trying to make the best of things, and forging relationships with their new neighbors. In the case of Scores WestSide, at 536 West 28th Street, members of Community Board 4 even asked the management to plant street trees and hire locally.

"They have an understanding of what our expectations are, and we have an understanding of who they are," said Anthony Borelli, the board's district manager.

But others say, high-end or not, the new clubs are attracting street prostitutes. Charles Spence, president of the West 44th Street Better Block Association, said residents were seeing a "reinfiltration" of smut.

"The community has worked so hard to clean up the neighborhood, and this is a setback," he said.

On a recent Thursday night, a few female customers at Penthouse Executive Club - a $10 million club at 603 West 45th Street at 11th Avenue, with a capacity of about 400 - were game for a lap dance.

"This is an opportunity to see up close, to see what it looks like," said Jesse Oliver, 23, who works in marketing for a technology company and got a lap dance from a blond dancer who tripped and fell at Ms. Oliver's feet. "I want to see what my boyfriend finds in them."

Another customer, Kevin Kelly, 41, said he was entertaining his out-of-town business partner.

"As long as they are legitimate, they are fun and the women are phenomenal," he said while watching from the bar. "One of them told me she makes $2,000 a night. It's all because of suckers like me."

For the dancers, upscale means not only bigger tips but also a safer environment, less lewd clientele and nicer co-workers. Sex is not allowed or expected, they said, and customers are not allowed to grope.

"It's not a brothel," said a 32-year-old from the Bronx who just started dancing at Hustler Club. "It's a fantasy that we're selling."

Club owners say their business suffers unfairly from an underworld image and the impression that it is associated with prostitution, drugs and the mob. In fact, the city's best known luxury club, Scores, which opened in 1991 at 333 East 60th Street and still operates at that location, once had owners who admitted helping the Gambino organized crime family extort payoffs from the club's employees. Ms. Spencer said that any criminal element was the exception.

"There's a thorn in every industry," she said. "You only have to look at Enron or WorldCom to see that."

Amid the neon of the West Side, Mark Yackow, the Penthouse club's chief executive officer, said he welcomed the other strip clubs. "We look at it as an expansion of the marketplace on the West Side," he said.

But Victor Roiter, who joined three friends to open the C.E.O. Club at 552 West 38th St., said he was not sure how many lap dances the market could bear. "It's going to be a wait-and-see game," he said, "Who's going to survive and who's going to end up closing its doors."

Last edited by Luxury Lex
Hooray for strip clubs. Now maybe half the bimbos in the Domination business - who migrated here during the Giuliani crackdown - will get the hell out of the dungeons, and go back where they belong -- sucking up to clients!

I wonder if there is any truth to the rumors I have heard that:
1) The clubs will pay for breast jobs then take it out of your pay (indentured boobitude.)
2) The dancers/entertainers have to "tip out" the bartenders, waitpersons, hairdressers and makeup-artists... who otherwise have no salary.

Maybe in the new 'enlightened' industry these aspects of the enslavement have been phased out.
Last edited by S'tan
The whole Rudiani crack down was aimed at the underclass, as the new boobclubs reveal. It's okay to strip and be stripped for if your 'upscale'. It just shows how snobs are just as venile as everyone else. And oh yeah I am sooo sure there is no sex, drugs or organized criminal activity at the new clubs. Sure. Everyone there is just a prom queen and a churchgoer, you bet. Probably one of the biggest reasons the clubs are back is because the 'appropriate' authorities at the local precinct station just could no longer pass up the big payoffs they used to charge to club owners.
Next to the vacant lot behind Khiels..June 7, 2004 -- A homeless man made a gruesome discovery yesterday when he tried to take an abandoned trunk off an East Village sidewalk, police said.
Finding the black trunk too heavy to move from the spot on East 13th Street between Second and Third avenues, the man opened it up "” and discovered a dead woman stuffed inside, cops said.
Whats really amazing is that this is hardly in any news reports today... didn't even make the press... I guess Ronnie and Nancy are far more important (guffaw)

PS Why is that lot vacant and has been for centurys?? In a city that is building on up like crazy (and Knocking down classic palladium buildings etc) why is that lot still empty??
Last edited by Anna Nicole
Oh, Anna, I know!

That chest was right on our doggie's regular pee-spot, and I had walked her there bout two hours before the body was discovered. It was a HUGE scene out there, but the only mention I saw was on NY1...which is why I will always keep my Time Warner cable.

I think if the body turns out to be a model or a college student, it will become a huge story. If its just one of the heroin hos from that particular stroll, we'll probably never hear about it again.
Sadly you are SO RIGHT Empress....... tiny tiny tiny piece in yesterdays paper that said that the ".The police identified the woman as Myrna Gonzalez, 45, and said she had been arrested at least 18 times on drug-related charges. Her body was found about 4:25 p.m". I just hope one day when they find the body of an Enron Exec or Martha in a trunk on 13th they will print it like that .........It reminds me of when Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times and all the press raked up was "he was an ILLEGAL...he was here ILLEGALLY".
Last edited by Anna Nicole
Jeez was I not JUST saying how amazing it ws that that lot was vacant...can't wait for even more yuppies and NYU students to move in...

Bodies Stuffed in Trunks Out; Rentals In!
In the feel-good real estate development story of the week, developers have announced plans to build a residential building on the empty East Village lot where a woman's body was found stuffed in a trunk a few weeks ago. "I think that the market is right and there will hopefully be an agreement to go ahead and build the rental," the developer says.
Here's one that's truly *all* around the town - Mr. Softee. I don't know or care if you patronize this rolling menace, all I know is that for years I've hated that incessant jingle sneaking up on me wherever I go. It seems I'm not the only one - Time Out New York's weekly poll reflects the matter, aking folks to vote whether of not Mr. Softee shoudl change the jingle.

So, if you love me, you'll go here and vote [hell] YES.

And with that, we're at 99 posts and this forum's now locked. Whoever's got something to post of local interest, please start East Side, West Side, All Around the Town Pt. 2

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.