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I haven't been reading this topic for a couple of days. I'm gagging! Those pictures of Stan, Duncan and Anya Phillips are mouth watering Bobby. You too should think about doing a book.

God, you guys remember so much. It's all a blur to me. I do remember my first day in The Big City though. I got off the bus at The Port Authority and immediately went to Time Square. Of course. I was walking around with my knap sack looking up at the tall buildings etc. when these 3 Guido kids walked up to me and started whispering in my ear. "Look kid, there's these niggers behind you that's gonna fuck you up. They been following you. They got knives. If I was you I would do this. I'm gonna count to three. When I say three you run like the wind. Just keep running an' don't look back 'cause the niggers 'ill be right behind you.
One Two Three RUN!!!!!"
So I run like the wind not wanting to get "fucked up". After a block I look back and see the Guidos rolling on the ground laughing hysterically.
OK, so this was New York. I could see that I was going to need a sense of humor to survive.


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I remember my first day in town. Around 1976 or 7. Something like that. I was gonna get an apartment (never having been here before, except when I was 5 once for the World's Fair, I was totally naive about what getting an apartment would mean). First off I got a hotel room at a cheap place on West 57th. Can you imagine that? A cheap hotel on West 57th? There was a huge hole in the wall of the elevator. I was told it was an exit hole for a .45 slug from a currier robbery. The hole in the wall was where the bullet left the scene after passing through the currier.

As wild as it might seem, in just two days I found a one bedroom apartment for $300 a month on W. 45th Street between 8th and 9th. Two doors down was the 'Pleasure Seekers' Club'. A second storey business with brown butcher paper over all the windows. The most affluent people on the block were the ladies who worked the street. They appeared each day around 4:30 in the afternoon to hang out for a few minutes, share cigarettes and gossip, before strolling a couple blocks west towards the old bus terminal.

Cochise and Marvin were two quickly made friends, the local recreational substance providers, who would half the time send me on a fool's errand to meet them 'later' up at Columbus Circle.

West 45th was a great block then. Full of enterpreneurs from all levels of the major trades that made up Times Square. Despite the obvious harshness of the life, most the denizens I traded talk with in the neighborhood then had quite a light-hearted demeanor. Just hanging on the block was like being in a vivified, colorful story. Now all of your reminiscences here are the only thing left of that palette.

What a loss.

It is actually more perverse now when you think about it. The whole Rudiani campaign to suburbanmallify the zone so the suburbanites would feel at home, when actually those people come to TSquare for the cachet of its (now nearly totally erased) forbidden commerce.
Last edited by seven
You know I find it fascinating that as much as things have changed, some things stay the same. Daddy's story reminded me very much of my first day in nyc (granted mine was only a little over 2 years ago). Stepping off the bus at port authority, heading straight to times square, getting fucked with by a local.

I know that nyc has lost much of it's charm to people, but I think it still very much has it's magic. I know I came here 2 years ago looking very much for what many of you came here for over 2 decades ago. And you know what? I found it. A place where I could start fresh and live my dreams. New York still has something that nowhere else has or will ever have. It's still a place where you can express yourself like nowhere else, can find people who will accept you like nowhere else, truly is a place where you can live your dreams like nowhere else.

And I honestly think it always will be as long as people keep believing in it and don't give up.
Artemis, it still is definietly a place with a very wide and far possibility horizon. We're all just waxing nostalgic of course. And of course by comparison to any other city in this nation our home here will always be a place with a higher proportion of territoria libre.

I am sure I speak for all the board denizens when I say I hope you prosper here.
I echo seven's sentiment as well, Artemis.
And I believe you will prosper because you had those dreams. It always was those that came without them, or that expected NYC to be just like home that wound up running back from whence they came, tail between legs...

I don't think we oldtimers really think New York has lost its charm. It is just that, for most of our time here, New York City seemed impervious to the changes and misguided trends that were so popular in the rest of the country. Don't forget, although The Gap is a phenomenon that had its beginnings about 20 miles due east of Times Square, it took three decades for it to take the rest of the country by storm, and make its way back here.
It was only really in the last 10 years that such changes in our local urban environment became more than just a few snowflakes, but like an actual blizzard. NYC had remained rich in odd and peculiar and unique traditions until then, so it really is shocking to us that it has lost much of its regional flavor.
Perhaps the cataclysmic events of September 11, 2001 did much to make those changes so apparent to us lifelong residents. Or at least to underscore them. Be that as it may, it seems to us that we all woke up one day and our city had changed practically overnight. And that so much was lost.

There is much lost in other areas of this country as well. Who here remembers how wonderful decrepit old Miami Beach was before it became South Beach? Or Atlanta when ancient black women still served afternoon dinner to the public in their living rooms? Or the Five and Dimes that had the same wood floors and the smell of roasted nuts no matter where you were in this country from coast to coast? All gone too. But it is in New York somehow that the loss of our treasures seems most painful to all of us. I know it does to me, though I am not exactly sure why. And I am not a big believer in hanging on to the past. After all, Tempus Fugit... The trouble is, what has replaced these things seems sterile and gimcrack in comparison.

Speaking for myself, though, I am still here in NYC spite of these changes and upheavals. Still living here among all the new Gaps and Starbucks. And try as I may, I am unable to find another place quite like New York in the entire country. Maybe the entire world. Go figure.

And how wonderful that you entered this place through that hellish gateway of Port Authority, Artemis. I always used to joke that we should set up a card table there, much like those money-collecting blue nuns used to, so we could meet people like you fresh off the bus. But I guess the Motherboards is like that in a way!

And speaking of Port Authority... who remembers the old one, before the remodelling? And how gorgeously filthy and poorly lit and stained it was? My guess is just Merlin, Bobby, and myself. But just maybe daddy and S'tan might too.
Last edited by hatches
Yes, I think entering NYC through Port Authority is an experience unlike any other. To leave suburban america, travel on a bus with no sleep for 3 days and then step out on to the streets of New York with nothing more than what you can feel like shit, but yet it's one of the best moments of your life!

And I know you all still love it here, wasn't trying to say anything contrary to that. Was just saying how I felt about it here. It is always a joy to read the things you all write though about days gone by here in NYC. Many adventures I would have loved to of been a part of! But I just have to be thankful for being here now and for the many adventures yet to come.

And I honestly believe that with time things here will look up! History always repeats itself and the scene is always like a rollercoaster...gotta come up eventually.
I agree with hatches about why we came to NYC and why I stayed for thirty years and my reasons for leaving only marginally had to do with the times we live in. Sometimes you just have to push yourself away from the table. I had too much to eat and was quite full and content. But I di indeed love to come for a snack now and then. In fact I will take up residence once again the week of April 19 - 25 for just such a brief repaste. But I must admit, if we had no Motherboards I'd feel very far away and in great need for my manhattan fix. There is so much about Manhattan that I miss but living there won't bring it back. It's gone for good. But I love the fact that there are nre kids coming and making their dreams come true. I applaude you all.
Hi All!
I used to go to Mother years ago and I just stumbled upon this forum! Love it! Hi ChiChi!Makes me yearn for NYC again (now that I live in CA). Miss all the nightlife although I've heard that most of the NYC nightlife has dissappeared. Anyone know where to go nowadays? Confused I'll be visiting NYC in the summer and wonder where to go...
Thanks! Smile
Please let me preface the following with the idea that I love New York City to the marrow of my bones. However, as someone who has chosen to move, I disagree with the notion that moving out of New York means failure, leaving with your tail between your legs, or that people who leave are somehow weak or can't handle the hardship. Unless you are rich, New York is a damn hard place to live. Every dollar you make goes to rent unless you are lucky enough to have a reasonably priced apartment, and daily amenities are always lacking. If you are not someone who wants to suck corporate ass, you are always hustling, which is exhausting and leaves only those with the most iron of constitutions actual time and energy to create.
Also, I personally cannot create without being relaxed. Some people create amazing things in harsh circumstances, goddess bless them. I think however that I am not unusual and I have no doubt that the stress of rising rents,vicious slum lords who harass their tenants to get them out of decently priced apartments, and a culture which is increasingly shallow and negative is part of the reason that many artists are leaving the city. And how can you create if you can't experiment, and how can you experiment if you have to choose between food or the materials of your medium? Nothing is more artistically constipating than thinking that everything you make needs to be profitable. And as far as the cliche of the suffering artist, I think it is only reasonable to expect a certain quality of life in a country where basic comfort is taken for granted.
The ray of hope is that New York has always had her cycles, and I have no doubt that this is only another one. And since the mundane, mainstream somnambulists who now populate much of Manhattan seem to follow the artists, be grateful for your pied pipers who are taking momentary respites from the city.
I am sorry arabella, I did not mean to offend...

I may have misphrased things a bit; I was actually thinking of those cocky ones who came to this city quite a few years ago with no dreams, and no philosophy, except perhaps that this town owed them a living. And they were surprised to find out that it did not.

Of course I know that today a NYC apartment costs a king's (or queen's) ransom. And in order to move here and get settled one must surmount a great many obstacles, that have grown much greater over the years. And as a result, this city has most certainly lost a large part of its vital and essential spirit. And it is a great loss, indeed. Unfortunately, that includes those such as yourself, at least for this year.

But, oddly enough, I don't believe that NYC is the center of the universe at all. Art of all kinds is, after all, made in a great many other places. What is important is that artists have some kind of interaction with each other and exchange ideas. In short, form a community of sorts. Something this city used to encourage. And something I see less and less of here as each year goes by.

Nevertheless, I still see new people come here each year, young and old, in search of that freedom and sense of community they were unable to find "back home." And whether or not they remain, I will always have enormous respect for them.
I know what you are saying Arabella. I have this friend who is a waiter, not an actor/waiter, artist/waiter, designer/waiter, dancer/waiter... but a waiter. God bless him, he's just a drunk. He shares an apartment in Manhattan with another mess. My friend works six days a week in a restaurant and actually makes a lot of money (well, anywhere else but here it's a lot). His share of the rent is like 2 grand a month! That means that his rent and $ for booze soak up his entire salary. He works six hard shifts a week just to get drunk and live in Manhattan. I keep telling him that he's crazy. He can get drunk anywhere, why work so hard? I tell him, "It's not like you go to museums or anything".
I guess that's not exactly what you are talking about Arabella but my point is about "quality of life". Why kill yourself if you can do what you do, in his case get drunk, in some more live-able place!
I agree with you too Arabella. I am a Native New Yorker and everyone that I knew grew up, got married, and moved out of the city to follow their careers, raise a family, and to find more affordable housing. It was REALLY expensive living in NYC and you had to have a roommate or two, or three in order to afford it. I still keep in touch with a few friends in the city and they tell me that there are so many luxury condominums being built that only the rich or the Europeans can afford moving in (being that the Euro is MUCH stronger than the US dollar). NYC does stress you out at times with the hustle and bustle but I find as you get older, you appreciate your health more and need to find ways to relax and take the slow route. LOL! Although I live in SF now where the weather is SO predictable, I really do miss the NYC excitement. Perhaps I can convince my husband to move us back there...WinkThere's definitely nothing like good ol' New York!
Hatches, no offense taken from your post. Perhaps it echoed a sentiment I already have within about leaving, which is why it stuck out. It is one of the biggest decisons one can make to decide to move on, and there is always ambivelance surrounding it, I guess. My subconscious tortures me with lucid dreams of walking down the beautiful tree lined streets of the village, and I wake up with a pit in my stomach. But alas...At any rate, this board provides a wonderful service to those of us who miss the city and her most valuable resource, the people.

Daddy, I agree with your post. It is amazing what one will put up with to live in Manhattan.
When I left, I thought that I would be so happy to have a decent standard of living that I wouldn't miss it at all, but now that I have an objective viewpoint, I see differently. There is an indescribable, almost spiritual quality about New York: a new age friend says that the bedrock of Manhattan has a large deposit of quartz which is why it has always been such an energy center. It certainly makes one think...
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Greetings, Chynna! I was actually considering starting a "Farewell Charming Old S.F." topic, or something like that, the other day, in "Elsewhere..."
How long have you lived there? When I first spent time there, BART was just being built... (No, daddy, I didn't go panning for gold!)

Anyway, regarding your earlier post, keep checking here and for nightclub news before your summertime visit, and you will be certain to keep abreast the latest NYC nightlife news and events.
Ah, I was going to ask you if those twins still promenade around the Union Square area-- I just thought of them the other day. They are twin sisters, and very old, wearing snappy matching outfits from the 1960s. Even in the late 1990s, one could be sure to spot them, wearing a wild new ensemble every day. They hand out business cards that say "The San Francisco Twins," and seem to enjoy posing for pictures.
Here's one.

But, back to "charming old New York..."
Last edited by hatches
I've been watching the Ric Burns/PBS "New York" documentary (It's about 12 hours long). I thought it might give me some perspective on the state of things, and it has. New York has gone through many disasters and this is just another. New York has always been about real estate and making money. Literally from day one. It was owned and operated by the Dutch East India Company (a subsidary of The Dutch West India Company -for which Hattie used to work as a secretary if I remember correctly). Anyway, The English took it over, opened it as a whorehouse for their army and changed the name to New York. It's always been about money here. While Boston, Virginia, actually ALL the other colonies were about religion, New York was only ever about the dollar. If Alexander Hamilton saw it today he would be very happy.
(Until the sun went down and there wasn't any place to go dancing).


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Actually, Daddy, if I remember correctly from those days behind my desk with the abacus, The East India Company came first. After all, they thought they were headed for Ceylon and those wacky Spice Islands when they cruised up the Hudson on the Half Moon. Quickly realizing their mistake, though, they formed The West India Company, which was similar to its sister not only by name, but by the way everyone, from the cleaning lady to the director embezzled its funds. How else do you think I have been able to pay these outrageous New York rents for all these years?
Daddy, I am in an urban archaeology class right now that is specialized in NYC history and archaeology. I've come across some amazing info I would never have given thought to had it never come up in the research. I've been given permission to rifle through some of the original manuscripts from the 16th-20th centuries concerning the development, political, and personal (diaries) aspects of NYC at the NYPL, so I'm very excited.
We're also excavating someone's 18th century outhouse in the Village. I'm happy as a clam.
Of late I've become resigned to the notion that I'll be renting for the rest of my life, or at least as long as I remain in this stinking town. Owning an NYC condo seems as remote a possibility at this point as skyrocketing to Andromeda, even as I continue to squirrel money away for a future downpayment/mortgage. At times the possibility of buying a little house somewhere with a pool in the backyard has tempted me, but I'll probably remain a slave of New York till the Grim Reaper comes, ever-aspiring to that loft with the exposed brick and wood-burning fireplace. (maybe ... if my novel sells ... well whatever)

This town is so obscenely expensive, it's the new Hong Kong.
As per the original post on this topic: The PLAZA! Bloomberg did something sort of right, he 'Saved" the Plaza -- under enormous pressure from hotel emplyee unions!

This is a funny article with just the right dose of mordant wit:

The lobby I'm betting will re-open as a trashy 1920s theme park. Cornball moms and daughters will continue going to the Palm Court to have debutante moments. Wannabe hookers may nostalgically trawl in the Oak Bar for out of towners. The rich johns will jaw their tobacco-flavoured chewing gum and drink themselves senseless on $20. JDs "just like in the old days." Tourists will stomp through the lobby and trash the rest rooms. A great NY institution will live on, flattened by homogenized memory and congealed in lucite.

Farewell Charming Old NY!! I am going back to the other desert, the one with the other kind of toad. After I dance around Bergdorf's tonight... helping to scatter the ashes of a rich old (dead) bitch, allegedly sprinkled in the Delman shoe salon.

Ever onward and ... sideways.

At the above link is a good story about the Ansonia building at 73rd and Broadway replete with its 1970's incarnation as the Continental Baths and later as Plato's Retreat. I like the bit about Bette Middler's piano accompanist being Barry Manilow wearing only a bath towel. Choice reading. Full of nineteenth century pervs and modern rip-off tycoons.
Last edited by seven
So Messy Madge et Hubby were strollin around the WEST Village at the weekend... oh how it's changed... I moved there in '91 and lived over that end for 6yrs... it was 'gay' then. Now it's just "Barneys".(And I don't mean the purple dinosaur). It's just an Epcot version of the Village... Consumerism very lil real culture.. just packaged goods... and flocks of Sex n City Wannabees shuffling in from L.I. to Marc Jacobs and Magnolia Bakery. It's way too twee... I cant wait till they Epcot Chinatown too sure that will 'go' at one point!
PS on another note.... I did venture to Brighton Beach with my kid on Sunday... that place is a hoot... i just love the over processed mad colored hair on the women in the stack heels, tight pink nylon leisure suits, wearing proud their underbreast belly fat that is larger than their tits! God bless Brighton Beach feel right at home there!

In just a couple of days the gorgeous old Variety Theater was torn to the ground. The oldest continuosly run theater in America is now rubble. And what's going to replace it? We hear a twenty story NYU Dorm. What else?
In the last couple of years NYU has torn down the legendary and landmarked Palladium to put up an ugly twenty story dorm, and they called it The Palladium just to rub it in. Around the corner they tore down the legendary and landmarked Louchow's Restaurant to put up an ugly twenty story dorm.
How could they do that you ask?
Well, there was a fire and Luchow's burned.
But isn't it directly across the street, maybe 30 feet away from the fire house you ask?
Why yes it is...
Funny how it burned down and became a dorm.
Yes, funny.
So now The Variety is gone.

Less historic Old New York.
More NYU dorms.
More hideous NYU students on cell phones.
More Lawyers and investment bankers.
Not a fair trade if you ask me.

The Variety Theater (with the new Palladium Dorm in the backround) and The beautiful Luchow's.


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its horrific what has happened to this city in the last 6yrs just HORRIFIC.
Thanks God I have the memories of the ole Palladium.. the first wk I arrived in the city i attended a amall birthday party in the legendary Paladium 'engine room' for Quentin Crisp.. it was there I met for the first time.. Daddy, the Empress (also there was Kelly Cuttrone, Ed Callahan, Barroness Sherry, Lee Chappell, Joey Arias.. the rest are a blur!).
It was also at the Paladium where I did the very last public cartwheel i ever did. And it was ALSO in the Palladium where I met the two hot Moroccan 'terrorists' one new years eve... bringin em back to my pad as my then 'husband' sat with a tranny zombied watching tv grinding their teeth coked to the gills....awww those were the days, when my daily life was like a David Lynch on the very same spot are those ghastley students, its all gone Mary Kate and Ashley.
Ten years from now everything south of 14th to Houston and East of B'way will be the greater NYU Technitutionalplex and Consumer Carnivale. Around Astor Place there will be a little East Village Pavillion with The Junky Rollercoaster, Bohemian Souvenier Shop, and dioramma of T2 Park. NYU students will individually sponsor the twelve actual performers and artists that still live in the area. Unfortunately for civic planners this will also create the largest single concentration of recreational drug users in Manhattan. It's true, some things never change.
It seems that NYU has learned a valuable lesson from the whole Cooper Square debacle when dealing with those durned preservationists: Keep it all secret and lie; that way no one will object when another piece of NY history is gutted.

From The Villager 12/21/04...

"Asked if N.Y.U. had any interest in the property, university spokesperson John Beckman said, "We've had no conversation about this. Nobody has approached us about this. I'm not going to get into these hypotheticals. I think we need to get out of the habit of, every time a piece of property changes hands in the neighborhood," assuming N.Y.U. is involved, Beckman said. "When N.Y.U. is having serious discussions about acquiring or leasing a property, we inform the community," he continued. "And that's how it's been and that's how it's going to be going forward."


The sad fact is that there is a major building boom going on all over Manhattan, and buildings that are an important part of our history are being torn down right and left. Witness the fight to save old PS 64 on East 9th Street, and that's still going on...
In my neck of the woods, though no historical structures have been ravaged yet, every available bit of land is being built on to create (surprise, surprise) even more million dollar + condos; I guess they will house those NYU students after they graduate.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for change and progress. But this is a free-for-all. There's not an iota of sensible city planning in any of it. And it's all been given a rubber stamp by our City Administration. This should definitely become an issue in the upcoming election. And I cannot wait to see Bloomberg's final plan for the "revitalization" of the Lower East Side Waterfront. Bah!
NYU has got to be bigger than the Catholic Church at this point. In New York anyway.

I was told the other day that the way they got around the "landmark problem" in tearing down The Palladium was that it suffered severe "sound damage" from its years as a night club.
So now it's MY fault.
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I recently cabbed by our old JACKIE 60 / MOTHER space. It's all boarded up and under construction, as to what it will be, I have no idea. At one point I heard an Armani store. We'll soon find out.
When we closed MOTHER we wanted to bomb the whole thing and save it the indignity of becoming a boutique, a hotel or a dormitory. When I designed the last invite, (MOTHER's END) this is REALLY what we had in mind. It's funny, when I drove by and looked through the doors at the demolition and this is EXACTLY what it looked like.


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I've suspected for some time now that NYU is really a big real estate conglomerate masquerading as a school.

Still, the multitudes of young college boys roaming the hood do turn me out. The other day in K-Mart there was a 6'2" blonde hottie I was on the verge of offering a live-in houseboy position. I should be in charge of Twink Scholarships.
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