OAK ROOM and the OYSTER BAR at the Plaza hotel Closing, end of January!

This is not as bad as the (original) Russian Tea Room dying, but it is really obnoxious.

My mother and I missed out on the usual stroll through the lobby around Xmas, because now the powers that be, don't let anyone walk through unless they are registered there.
Corporate suck-asses, high-security false value-system, the death of an era.


December 2, 2004 --
It's going to be a lot harder to get a meal at The Plaza "” its new owners are closing three of the hotel's landmarked restaurants, including the historic Oak Room.

Elad Properties, which bought the historic hotel last August, will close the Oak Room and Oyster Bar by the end of January and ONEc.p.s. by Jan. 1.

"They don't perform well and they're losing money," said Elad spokesman, Steve Solomon. This leaves only the Palm Court, where Eloise roamed, and the fabled Oak Bar, which has a limited bar menu.

The company "” which is also turning The Plaza's top floors into condos "” would not divulge its plans for the spaces, but sources said high-end retail boutiques are expected to move in. Since the spaces are official landmarks, renovations cannot be extensive.

The news came as a surprise to Local 100 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees, the union whose members are employed in the hotel's restaurants.

"We have not been given formal notification of the closing of these restaurants," said union spokesman John Turchiano, who pointed out that the law requires 60 days' notice.

Local 100 President Peter Ward plans to meet with restaurant employees 3 p.m. today.

Diners were astonished

"I can't imagine The Plaza without the Oak Room," said William Hopkins.

The Oak Room has a history as lustrous as its oak paneling adorned with frescoes and carved coats of arms.

It's where songwriter George M. Cohan lunched every day and Ernest Hemingway drank with F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Original Post
Boo! How sad, S'tan.
If it's any consolation, we can say Farewell Insipid New New York, too! Last week New York Magazine proclaimed the "end" of the Meatpacking District in a poorly researched chapter of its year-end "It Happened This Year: A Guide to 2004." In addition to citing Pastis as the beginning of the end of the neighborhood, among the gems given us by reporter Jay McInerney:
quote:
This is the inevitable cycle of trendification in the city, trend seekers following the trendsetters into a fringe area of the city. The only difference is that there wasn't a real bohemian or artistic culture that was co-opted and displaced.
He is, like, so on the pulse! Oh, and watch out for those ghosts of trannie prostitutes. Ugh.

The Meatpacking District Got So Popular That Nobody Goes There Anymore.
The half-life of a trendy neighborhood is now a matter of days.

By Jay McInerney

Coming home to the Village from a dinner party on the Upper West Side this past weekend shortly after midnight, I found myself skirting the meatpacking district, cruising east on Fourteenth. You could almost feel the shock wave rocking the Volvo as we crossed Ninth Avenue. A collective moan rose from my friends"”an actor, a journalist, and a publishing exec"”as we looked down the avenue, which was teeming and raucous with Saturday-night heat seekers, illuminated by the drossy fluorescence of the Hotel Gansevoort. The scene required no overt comment from our crowd, only grunts and expletives. "The new Date Rape Row," someone finally said.

So"”that didn't take long. As I recall, it took Soho at least ten years to become a parody of itself, to move from bohemian fringe neighborhood to theme park, from buzzword to cliché, from Samo to Sam Waksal.

When I arrived in town twenty-odd years ago, I lived a few blocks from the district. By day, it was populated by rough men with outer-borough accents in bloody white aprons, carrying hacksaws and haunches of beef. At night, a different sort of worker ruled the sidewalks. It took me about a year to figure out why the gaudy Amazons tottering on high heels after dark were so damn tall and had such deep voices. I was quicker to understand what they meant when they asked if I wanted a date. Years later, when Keith McNally mentioned that he was thinking about opening a restaurant over there, a sidewalk-café kind of thing, I told him that I thought the smell might keep people away. That's how sharp my business sense is.

Pastis was, of course, the beginning of the transformation; the opening of the Hotel Gansevoort"”the physical equivalent of the Tour Montparnasse, another shiny blight on a low-rise neighborhood"”was the tipping point. This is the inevitable cycle of trendification in the city, trend seekers following the trendsetters into a fringe area of the city. The only difference is that there wasn't a real bohemian or artistic culture that was co-opted and displaced. (The meatpackers seem to have been gradually migrating across the river since the nineties.) The only surprise is the speed of the change, the rapidity with which we started to use italics to pronounce the name of the place that, ever since the days of the Anvil, the area's notorious sex club, seemed tailor-made to become a double entendre.

The architectural transformation of the far West Village is a genuine cause for concern"” high-rises are planned for all over the waterfront. Who knows, though . . . the ghosts of those slaughtered animals, if not the trannie prostitutes, may yet haunt the developers' dreams. Before dawn, as the last partyers leave Cielo and PM and Lotus, giant rats patrol the cobbled streets and terrorize hotel guests on the highest floors of the newest towers; and among the entrepreneurs of the area one hears whispers of ineradicable molds and mites imbued in the old brick walls of the former abattoirs.
Hmmm, not that bad an article.
I guess you are displeased Maddy because he neither mentions Mother, nor Hog & Heifers... but one club does not an entire 'culture' make, no matter what we feel about it. Instead, like many artistic/bohemian subcultures, we were parasitic (and happy to be so) and thus from the point of view of profit-mongers, WE were part of the "problem" over there. Exactly: low-rent, no interest in big profit, in love with sleaze and the panorama of the bizarre, seemingly one of the ineradicable molds and mites.

I do love the justice of the "ineradicable molds and mites in the walls of the former abattoirs." ('imbued' is redundant) Now there're abattoirs there of another ilk... heads roll at 4 AM, the breeders' frenzy of who's going home with whom...

Do you recall when the whole neighborhood was inundated with E.coli after numerous heavy rainstorms? Delightful.
Well, it takes a germ to love a germ.
The idea of Jay McInerney & New York Magazine proclaiming the Meat Market dead is so laughable... it's not even funny.
Jay McInerney was always the most hideous yuppie scum. Now he's trying to come off as some kind of 80's bohem. He was a yuppy! I was there. I remember. Jay McInerney and his yuppy friends at a party were always a sign of doom. How dare he write about "The Anvil". He was never there. He was at Jackie though, I'll give him that but it always made me nervous.
And New York Magazine... don't get me started.
I remember when they put us (Pookie represented) on the cover proclaiming The Meat Market as the next big thing. We were mortified and very depressed knowing that being in New York Magazine is death. And the cover to boot! (We sold the club not long after getting out while the getting was good).

I did love the mold thing though.
Believe me, nobody knows about that mold like I do!!!! I fought it for years. I've seen things growing that nobody should ever see. I eventually won BTW, sending it back to hell with gallons and gallons of bleach.
Didn't NY Mag declare the Meat Market the hottest thing ever less than five years ago?
And that was just a real estate scam, we know that. JM saying it's "dead" is just palaver. Bottom line about his loathesomeness: he is both too old/not wealthy enough to attract the women that now go cruising in the bars down there. That's no doubt why he'd like it to be dead. If he could go down there and get laid he would be all for it.

My landlord has 7 buildings in Chelsea and just sold all of them to a corporation that owns the Sears Building. More and more little neighborhoods and small buildings will be going, going goine.
He said he had to sell before the real estate market totally crashes.

That market crashing, if it ever does, might be good news for people like us, who need reasonable rents and don't need everything to change (that is, get more expensive) every five years. But somehow I don't believe it is going to happen.

The House that Jackie built as we know it certainly does not have to be made of bricks and mortar (and mold) though wouldn't it be wonderful if it could again, one day, be manifest.
Wishing us a nice long lease and a rent check one could write without going into a conniption.
FAREWELL CHARMING OLD EVERYTHING!!!
The new "hot zone" is the New World Order...

http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NWO/Intelligent_Students_NWO.htm

"Goals of the New World Order"

To begin to understand the New World Order (NWO) you need to forget what you have been told about philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats; left and right; Socialists and Libertarians; business and labor; liberal and conservative; black and white, etc.. The planners of the New World Order know they must use, influence, and cater to all of these groups to accomplish the goals they are seeking, which are:

1. Consolidate everything.

2. Commercialize everything.

3. Classify everything.

4. Claim everything.

5. Control everything.

We might call these goals the five Cs of the New World Order. If it is fully empowered, free speech, personality, personal goals and decisions, individual responsibility, private property, private business, morality, Constitutional government, national sovereignty; and religious freedom can no longer be tolerated. Everyone in every country will be subject to the NWO management system. To quote the French mathematician/philosopher, Auguste Comte (1798-1857), one of the most significant early planners of the world management system:

"The most important object of this regenerated polity will be the substitution of Duties for Rights; thus subordinating personal to social considerations. The word Right should be excluded from political language, as the word Cause from the language of philosophy."

"The only real life is the collective life of the race; individual life has no existence except as an abstraction."

He also wrote:

"When the system is fully regulated, the effect of this will be to secure greater unity, by diminishing the influence of personal character."

[Auguste Comte, System of Positive Polity, Vol. 1, LENOX HILL Pub. & Dist.Co.(Burt Franklin), New York,1973. Published by the Author in July 1851]

This means that to the NWO world management system planners you, as an individual, are considered to be without character or personality. Your personal life and personal goals are unimportant to them, unless those goals are consistent with the sociological, economic and religious goals of the New World Order.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love
S'tan
Hi Bobby darling,
Happy New World Disorder 2005!
Apropos of fighting against the machine, I just saw the East Village Art Show at the Chelsea Museum -- so major! It could have been ten times bigger...
Paintings that are so fervent and wild. David Wojnarowicz's "Death of American Spirituality" is one of the most terrifying paintings seen in a long time.
Overarching the experience is the apocalyptic drone of Sonic Youth from the video room. Sue Coe's "Car Hookers" is incredible as is David Sendlich (sp.) horror-sex-fantasy 'Under the Pulasky Bridge." Nan Goldin looked better than ever in this context. All that was missing was Blacklips, though I think they were just a wee bit later. (1990s)

Only complaint is the sound on the Klaus Nomi video wasn't working. Lots of great video though, Finley and John Kelley. I watched about half an hour of "TV Party" and went right back... You know they had it on the second floor at 110 East 23rd, where my former "Whipshack" was also the same time active (1982-1993). Glenn looks sooo young and cute... Walter Stedding too...

Incredible irony of the fervour and disgust so rampantly manifest in these works... knowing that just about every single artist in the whole exhibit had been, was, or was about to be on heroin. My friend & painter Carl Apfelschnitt, who died in the second wave of the Plague used to say, "The antidote for New York is heroin."


NB Patti Astor who founded FUN gallery in her apartment on East 3rd Street (try to do that today, kids) is lecturing on Jan. 27th on graffiti art with Charlie Ahearn and Lady Pink.
http://www.newmuseum.org/now_calendar.php#graffiti

"Not to be missed" !!!
Mao tse Tung did the five C's and then some. It is just another subterfuge to call NWO a management system. As originally instituted as a pragmatic social system it was just called Totalitarianism. The key component is as Comte wrote but in later studies was more specifically called "a closed inner world (of the individual mind)." There in effect is no such thing as an individual anymore. The highest crime is to have a 'private thought.' But the huge difference between the original practitioners of totalitaria, who were extremely successful for years, and the NWO as is needed by the Little Bush Idiocracy, is that the LBI needs the practices of the NWO simply just to buttress its need for perceived legitimacy. That is why the US will need to end up being majorly similar to North Korea by the end of the LBI just for the LBI to have any type of accepted 'believership.' Mao did not employ totalitarianism primarily to instill his regime with legitimacy but to directly marshall the entire social resources of the nation to consolidate authoritarian order, provide for national defense, and project geopolitical interests. Re-shaping society was recognized first of all as a project of re-shaping human consciousness. The actual techniques became catalogued and extremely methodical. Pallid echoes of it could be found in Reagan-era ideological promotions like the Just Say No program. Perhaps more insidious than the open practice of indoctrination practiced by the commies, here in the US the 'brainwashing' techniques have a cross-over affinity with contemporary practices of publicity and advertising. Mao didn't have an advanced technological environment to use as a tool to achieve his totalitaria. Because of that his version of NWO was taught directly to the population instead of being administered by a hodgepodge of legislation and cultural propaganda. And the qualitative result was very different. In Mao's version the effect was that the population knew nothing other than the social law and so believed in the regulations from the inside, as it were. Here, the attempt to impose a NWO has no option other than to present it and its rules as an exteriority to be conformed to, and as such that will meet with considerable resistance.
mao observed none of the social order he placed on his country. he gave std's to women as a girl scout badge for sleeping with him. he acted as a god/emperor and danced and drank the night away forcing his entourage into western clothes and western styled entertainment still preaching conformity on the rest fo the country sending out raiding parties to distroy homes and businesses of his enemies.

who is believing any of this modern american propangda? unless you mean mtv teenagers accepting the latest color or fashion silhouette as buying into the system. yes we saw the manipulations by the republicans of the news with dan rather's demise. and the falsely planted belief by so many that the iraqi war was part of american security, yet those are great lies that people will learn about later when it will really shock them into awareness.

we know our government is being mismanaged and may destroy our way of life, yet hey, was not nyc destroyed on september 11th?

what's life to save? our careers?

in love,

merlinator
Reading the catalogue for the East Village Art show... recollecting that mad errant time the curators have demarcated for the movement, 1981-1987... We were thoroughly convinced the world was coming to an end, that things were just going to get worse, dirtier, more and more heroin and drug burnouts, more & more "No Future"...
I moved out of the East Village to the upper West side, trading junkie friends for uptown alcoholism...

Little did we realize then the end of the world, our New York world, was going to mean corporate everything, high-priced everything, and finally for 2005 that monumental fascist symbol, Bank of America, glowing neon red on nearly every corner... No, New York won't allow chains to take over! No, New York won't be a mall... ha. Ha. Ha.

One thing concerning the NWO I find particularly disturbing is the re-animation of Christianity. I was reading a number of histories of the 18th century on my last tour in the Styx... the dominant theme being the death of the religion... it was known as 'the Age of Enlghtenment' for its rejection of faith, in favour of the powers of reason. In this context, the rampant pounding of Xian morality in the culture bespeaks its essential emptiness and a resounding knell of Control...

But I don't believe in Reason anymore either. It reeks too much of 'practicality' which is too much about the bottom line, and 'how much' are we going to get out of whatever. I look and look for some place where money isn't controlling every goddamned thing that exists. Don't find.
Yeah S'tan, I'm more for relying on instinct and intuition. Basically, these days, if someone has you reasoning it means you are like a mouse in a laboratory maze. The world is now choked with billions of humans living terminal creeds in pantribal despair. Living with no consideration of money is like swimming underwater, you have to come up sometime. The overwhelming integrity of money leaves only certain metaphysical realms free of its taint. I have always found the interpersonal to be probably the only mode of being alive where one can have any guarantee of being in a cash-free zone.
I am not a bloodie Rainbow person that I think I can (or do I want?) to live without money. What I am talking about is the emphasis that is placed on the profit motive - as being more important than anything else. To the point that no-one recognizes any other reason for doing anything.

There are plenty of interpersonal relationships that are all about "do for me, gimme". Lovers and spouses degenerate into money-sucking. The art world is seriously infected with money-grubbing... that was what was so great about the East Village frenzy, while it lasted. It was not about cashing in. Soho was a blue-chip dead zone in the face of that fervour.

Often at social events I'll see someone who hasn;t seen me in a while, who asks me ... if I am "Still Writing." The implication: since I'm not a fucking media-slut blow-out shilling myself to the gills... since my writing has apparently had "No Result", then I MUST have given it up. I mean Why do Art if it isn't Profitable? They can kiss my petunia.

Love
STAN
I am standing AND applauding you S'tan. If I wanted money I'd have never become an artist.
But I see it in its proper perspective. I need to eat etc. but it's not my driving force or my life's desire to acquire and store money. You can't take it with you but you can do a lot with it to help yourself and others.
And just as we were having this discussion, a bit of blurb on the old New World Order pops up-- before Skull and Bones & the WTO, before Auguste Comte, and even before the European Union with its vacant 666th seat, there was-- The Knights Templar.
The model for all secret world puppet-meisters... the shadowy group that history-mangler Anne Rice used as the inspiration for the Talamasca... the legendary very core of the Illuminatus... has popped into the news recently, in Hertfordshire, of all places, demanding an apology from Rome for its near-extermination in the 14th Century, among other things. And The Vatican, still wary after the enormous publicity surrounding the whole
Opus Dei palaver, is considering...

Hertford, Home Of The Holy Grail
Great little article hatchie... Love the bit about the secret reeking that no one wants to dig up.

Woder why every time there is a secret coven of some kind, they always have miles of underground tunnels? Is the Motherboards our burrow?

This from the New York Press last week ...
green alert to Jay McInerney!

"A survey of 1,003 New Yorkers between the ages of 25 and 35 revealed that the HOTTEST current pick-up joints in towns are no longer bars, nightclubs, or church groups, but rather chain stores. Topping the list were Barnes & Noble and Starbucks. Further down the list were Rite-Aid, Staples, Home Depot, K-Mart, Subway sandwich shops and Ikea. Many of those surveyed also expressed ... lustful excitement at the possibility that a Wal-mart might be opening in Brooklyn soon.

" 'Most any major nationwide chain will do when I'm looking for a girl,' one 27-year old from Williamsburg said. 'There's something about the comfortably interchangeable sameness of the corporate bosom. When I go to a chain store, I feel loved. And when I feel loved, I also feel I'm capable of loving in return. Well, loving and spending money.' " Big chuckle.

"As it happens, the survey was sponsored by the American Express Corpoation, as they prepare to launch a new credit card."

Not to mention the comfortably interchangeable sameness of the girlfriends' fake bosoms.

Just the fact that people (or in this case, probably a copy-writer) can even begin to merge the image of spending money in chain stores ~ equivalent to ~ getting laid
is a dreadful, nauseous etiolation of the metaphor!!

Just kill me.
UggggHHHHH!!! Are we losing our minds? Is there any hope left?

Still, on the other hand, it does seem a bit more cruisy whenever I go to the local Mall.

But maybe that's just me.

Where'd I put my Amex card?

And on a more serious note, American Express is the only Credit card company that charges the retailer both coming and going so to speak ie:
If you buy something at our store and use your American Express card we get charged 3.5 % and if you return the item you bought , we get charged another 3.5 %.Thereby costing us for the transaction. In other words if someone bought a $10,000.00 diamond necklace at Cartier
and then returned it and they used an Amex card, Amex would make $1300.00 on the entire transaction and Cartier would be charged $1300.00. Maybe we should start our own credit card company.
S'tan, please, the East Village 'art scene' was not about cashing in on the money? Let's not idealize it tooooooo much. Sorry to cast aspersions on many of your past and current aquaintances, but the EV 'art scene' was just the same catagory of ladder climbers Soho was ALL about. It's just that the EV 'scene' was the only space available on account of that olde arte world staple, exclusivity. Mark Kostabi is really the epitome of the East Village 'art scene' of the eighties. I'm not criticizing the level of creativity, that's not my point, nor was the performance art vying for corporate patronage, performance never does, and of course there was a nucleus of mercurial personalities. But the vast majority of that scene, especially including the gallerists, were all totally angling for the big money gallery careers. Gracie Mansion didn't paste macaroni on a grand piano thinking she was going to have to go without dinner. P.P.O.W., Pat Hearne, etc. didn't end up in Red Hook. They became totally establishment and trafficed in art in quotes. The art writers of the NY Times aren't cumming all over themselves fulfilling copy quota about the current show up at the New Museum because the artists of that scene were relegated to the welfare lines. But then, the New York City art world is the most arrogant, conceited, AND self-deluded of just about anywhere in the world. To paraphrase Tina Turner, "What's Creativity got to do with it?"
What artist would not like to make a living doing what they love to do? I don't understand your contempt for those who are able to. If it makes you feel better, I do not believe that most of those painters are rich at this moment, but even if they were, this would not make them a bunch of whores.
If they are now getting media attention and a place in history, that doesn't make them sell-outs.

The Soho art scene was crowded then, and getting way too blue-chip and over-valued. The fact that a number of people went out on a string, and with very few resources created galleries and thus a scene is what is important. That alternate realities can be created. You didn't have to kiss Mary Boone's petunia.

You are falling prey to the same logic that says "ONLY MONEY" makes it worthwhile. You subscribe to its opposite: "ONLY NO MONEY" makes it worthwhile. That's not true either.
What makes it worthwhile and valuable is its spirit, whether anyone buys the artefacts therefrom, or not.

In any event, the people who generally BUY paintings are not you and I. They are the wealthy. So neither can we have contempt for collectors. They support painters, who can choose or not to be purchased.

The point of the East Village scene was making one's own reality, not having to suck up to the entrenched powers that were. If Patti Astor made a killing off FUN Gallery I applaud her, because she believed in it and worked for it. But I doubt she is sitting on some throne built from the exploited bodies of poor artists.
Dearest S'tan, actually I am not in any trap at all.

If a person loves something creative that they do, or anything else, they don't have to make a living off it. That is not an idealization either, it is a fact of being alive.

And in the 'art world' making things rich collectors buy means you are making things that necessarily flatter the tastes and opinions of those collectors. That act has nothing to do with being a creative person, is the opposite of creative freedom -is actually a grotesque limitation on the infinite possibility of creation, and in fact is a form of self-censorship. The sad thing is the majority of artists have been taught self-censorship. And then the public has been taught that self-censoring artists are fabulous geniuses.

I have no contempt for any person or persons in themself. I do have loads of objections to the social and economic operations people fulfill in their places as pawns for the existing social and economic order.

"whore" is your word, not mine.

Media attention and a place in history do not make a person an artist. They make a person a social typification of an artist. A kind of costume. This is completely antithetical to being a creative person. And is just part of the forlorn and impovershed White Order's Zoo.

Spirit has no value, in part that is what makes it spirit.

My point is that the art scene in the East Village was not some utopia or self-righteous alternative to Soho. It may have had a little bit to do with controlling one's own career and livelihood, but that is something to be expected from anyone, artist or not. It can not be truthfully said that any of the artists looked at art as being pragmatic, nor did they look at society primarily in terms of change. It was not some beautiful temporary autonomous zone. It may have had a few real outsiders and contrarian individuals, but in the New York City art world being such a person rarely escapes being just another pose.

Did some wild art come out of the east village art scene of the 80's? Possibly.

But that scene did not exist apart from the same progressively death-oriented thoughts, feelings, ideas, and restrictive definitions of what being creative is, imposed by the dominant state of culture.
Oh Bobby you know I mean no monetary, or in that sense, earthly value.

And it is hard for me to say we should value spirit because that would be to sort of impose a kind of control on spirit. ( and you of all people know how much spirit figures in to my existence )

-anyway, this is getting in to a whole different discussion. You are so good at instigating these shifts in consciousness.
No of course if you are an artist you don't HAVE to make a living at it, but it would certainly be wonderful if we could. Seven you seem to think that is an impossibility, this is what irks me. I have to believe somewhere there is an editor who would not make me bow and scrape to get published. Wouldn't you?

Artists who are purchased by the wealthy collectors are not necessarily making things to flatter their tastes. Artists do subsist in our culture as a parasitic entity, I grant you that, but the issue is the EV USA show isn't as bad as you make it out to be. And alot of that art wouldn't flatter anyone's Park Avenue living room.
Have you gone to see it?

Here is Marcel Proust in 1896 writing on the 'persona' of the artist in Paris, through the point of view of two poseur bourgeoisies Bouvard and Pecuchet:

"Every artist is a humbug, estranged from his family, never wears a top hat, and speaks a special language. He spends half his life outsmarting bailiffs who are always trying to dispossess him. The other half is spent dreaming up grotesque disguises for masked balls. Nevertheless, artists constantly produce masterpieces, and for a great many of them an overindulgence in wine and mistresses is the sine qua non of their inspiration if not their genius. They sleep all day, go out all night, work God knows when, and with heads flung back and limp scarves fluttering in the wind, they perpetually roll their cigarettes."

I think most people still consider the artist in exactly this manner! And not as any kind of social engineer.
If only masterpieces did magically appear amidst the wining and gallivanting.
We work God knows when indeed... the bourgeoisie could care less if we have a roof over our heads, cause magicky folk can anyhow just sleep under a leaf and drink a dew drop for petit dejeuner.
The "Only Money vs. Only No Money" thread here made me think of this...
Odd that about 28 years ago I was having a very similar discussion one day in a loft on Mercer Street owned by a cocaine dealer friend of my brother's who had laundered his money by buying up a great deal of that neighborhood. Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word had come out the previous year and someone was playing a then-unreleased demo of a song by Joni Mitchell, composed as a response to Wolfe (The Boho Dance.) Naturally the concurrence was that Wolfe was an asshole and Mitchell a genius. I also remember that Larry Rivers was there and we laughed about the fact that his gallery was completely mystified by his latest work and was begging him to "stay on track" and keep grinding out commercial product. It was shortly after this that the exodus began-- first to the wilds below Canal Street, and then to the East Village.
The reason we all moved to the East Village, if I remember correctly, had less to do with rents than with the fact that the spirit of CBGB's still held sway and that a morning walk down Second Avenue or Avenue A was literally like being in a real village. One ran into poet, painter, filmmaker and punk singer alike. Everyone knew everyone else, and everyone was working on something new. Of course the fact that the monthly rent bill was under $75 was pretty cool too. This was before Gracie and Patti Astor, pretty much before anyone except... Jack Smith!
I lived with the writer/artist David Wojnarowicz and a str8 couple who were heavy duty Bruce Springsteen fans in a building at Second Avenue & 10th. David was literally the most non-commercial, non-art world type of guy. Hated every aspect of the bloodsucking commerce and asskissing that goes hand in hand with NYC's art scene. Turned down many a chance to "make it big" and strike it rich. Needless to say, I supported us both by working as the graveyard cook all the way across town at The Empire Diner. (Monica Lynch, later of Tommy Boy, was the waitress, btw, and together we managed to feed a lot of those starving artists for free out of the Diner's back door! It was also here, in this chrome and black glass Deco monstrosity that I first met our Empress... but that's another story.)
The gallery owners who came along shortly after did indeed believe in the work rather than the profit. And there is certainly nothing wrong with them later turning a profit on that belief.
After all, I own quite a few pieces by David as well as others; these will probably be my "retirement fund" someday :-)
David was later commissioned to do an enormous installation in the Park Avenue duplex of a "collector." Much of this was constructed from old newspaper and junk found on the street and has probably long since crumbled to dust. But the fee for this installation enabled him to eat and buy supplies for an entire year. I remember him agonizing a great deal over whether this was "selling out." Seems funny in light of today's whoring which is so much more unabashed.
As far as the relationship between heroin and the East Village art explosion, I would like to set the record straight, from my perspective at least. The really great artists from this time period were, for the most part, not junkies. They may have dabbled as David did, but they were not regular users. The only exception perhaps, was Jean-Michel. And he was part of an entirely different milleau-- Warhol, and that was most definitely Uptown. But heroin, at the time was everywhere. Runners calling out the names of brands of dope were everywhere, as were the warning cries of, "¡Bajando!. The streets were literally paved with it, many died from it, so it is little wonder that our perception is, in retrospect, that the drug fueled the art and music "explosion" of the Eighties in a big way. What the drug actually did, though, was to underscore, by its proximity, our outsider status and the impression that we were really living "in the belly of the beast."
Though I haven't yet seen the New Museum show, I am actually curious to see what they have left out. That would be very telling. It certainly is a very daunting concept to attempt a retrospective of work from this era. By 1984, there were 57 galleries there in full swing. Not to mention hundreds of clubs, theatres, bars and other venues. For that fact alone, what happened in the EV will most likely never happen again.... anywhere.
I would also like to point out, for those who believe everyone is rolling in it, that very recently, Futura 2000, one of the brilliant graffiti artists from this era, and who is represented in the Saatchi & Saatchi collection, could be found working behind the counter at Kinko's.
And don't even get me started on the subject of Mark Kostabi...
God Hatchie I wish I'd been supporting someone like David Wojnarowicz at the time. Thank you for the poignant tale of his making a mountain of gorge trash in swank digs. Me I was ensconced uptown with the Luddite classicist, painter Duncan Hannah who loathed the whole downtown scene and would go into rages over grafitti art. My easy-earned dominatrix dollars ("she's lording it over a hot slave tonight" Rene Ricard used to croak) went to fuelling this fantasy of a 'New Romantic' revolution. Ho-hum! I escaped and started publishing my stuff in East Village Eye, Bomb, and other experimental rags.

I spent one memorable evening running in and out of every bar in Soho and the EV with Rene as he worked on his famous review of Jean-Michel's first show ever. As we got drunker and drunker, we fought over every period, comma and hyphen like maniacs, and were finally thrown out of someplace on Seventh Avenue South, only to get mugged by two Spanish guys with knives... you know the drill.

When you get to the show, buy or steal the catalogue, for one thing there's an adorable shot of Mommy and Daddy in it, lookin' like babies just outa the crib! The blow-by-blow of the year-by-year development in the neighborhood is so overwhelming, the curator has truly done a great job.

So far I haven't come across ANY heroin tales in the catalogue, and I concur with you in re J.M. Basquiat, though I could name a few more heroin heroines who made good, despite the fashionable addiction... It is hard to believe that at one point I realized every single friend I had was a junkie. And though I wasn't, what was I, a hifaluten "authoress" who had written a book about something no-one had even heard of, some kind of weird godawful "dominatrix" world, that was maybe something even worse than junk!

That's an idea as an addendum to the entire subject: the subculture of girls working in
the sex-industry to support their artist boyfriends or their own art-habits. You see the depressing side of it in Sue Coe's paintings. But it was certainly the golden day of the go-go girl!
Making a living off your writing should not be an impossibility for you, S'tan. Alls you need is to find an agent/editor who doesn't want YOU to be the sub in some Paris gallery performance!

Between your and Hatches' input here it is like no one really needs to go to the museum show.

S'tan, are you sure it was Proust? I think it was rather Flaubert who wrote Bouvard and Pecuchet, unless Flaubert stole it all. You're such a Francophille.

Stomp on me for one more criticism of the EV 80's show. For me the zone then was not attractive because of the art galleries. Anytime commercial enterprise, no matter how committed the directors of it may be to 'art', springs up in noticeable numbers it reads to me as colonization. And in the EV 80's scene I think it is a total gloss to overlook the role those galleries played in 'civilizing' the zone. The art scene was overridingly for white people. What seems to be missing from this recent 'official' History show is the real anchoring role played by 'organizations' like CHARAS El Bohio, ABC No Rio, Gargoyle Mechanique, Robots, El Taller, etc. These were specifically not commercial enterprises, were truely committed to non-commercial, non-mainstream, non Art Star creativity. And several of those organizations, to prove the point, still exist now, long after the hucksters of the image haze of the EV 80's art gallery scene gained their promotions to the white collar world.

But let us not get too distracted by all the art junk. What S'tan and Hatches are really responding to (and with), and Daddy as well, are the lives they lived, in and around the EV scene at that time.
It is a short story of Proust's, where he re-animates Flaubert's Bouvard and Pecochet as irredeemable pedants who are set on a sentimental education (or re-education) of Parisian society... something like that.

The 2 complain often about the 'new art' which then consisted of Symbolists and other Decadent thralls... Here is another nice quote for you. One of the pedants is fancifully addressing Wagner:

"Your music, sir, is full of monsters, and all one can do is -- keep inventing. In nature herself, the mother of simplicity, you only like the horrible. And hasn't M. Delafosse written a melody on the bat? Why doesn't he choose some nice bird?"

Thank you for remembering that Paris reading story! It was not the last time I was driven into a closet.

Enough nitpicking. Now you and Troy have to actually go to the East Village Art show, and then get back on here and write a COMPLETE review.
We are waiting.
I remember the 80's and the east village and the junkies and everyone mentioned but I had enough sense at the time to stay in the west village with the rest of the fags. Of course I can tell tales about lotsa dead people but I think I'll save it all for the book.

I still want to see the EV show when I am in NYC in Feb.
Hattie if you don't write that G.D. book I'm going to kill you!
(Oh wait, that's no good is it?)
I forgot about you at The Empire Diner.
And Monica Lynch... I had no idea.
When I moved to New York (to go to Art School) I was working at FOOD restaurant on Prince & Wooster Streets. (One of the three restaurants in the newly named SOHO district. There was The Broome Street Bar, The Spring Street Bar and Food on Price Street). We also used to feed artists. It was cool. Unlike you though Hattie, I am a fool and have lost most of the art that was given to me in exchange for soup. Once in a while I find something by Jack Smith or Ray Johnson shoved in book though. Oh well.

And Stan,
I so remember you and Duncan Hannah.
HOLY TERRORS!!!!!!!
And when Rene was added into the equation...
words cannot convey the evil.
It was gorgeous.
I was living with the notorious art critic Edit DeAk at the time (before I knew The Empress of course). She was, as was everyone at the time, scared to death of your "Evil Trilogy". (Later she teamed up with Rene). Edit was the first person to write about Grafitti Art (1974) She was the editor of ART-RITE Magazine and was the first person to write about...
well, everyone.
Hmmmmm
Where am I going with all this?
Who the hell knows.
This is a very hot topic though and I should stop rambling and let you guys discuss it intelligently.

I also agree with seven that The East Village Art scene would have LOVED to be as successful as the Soho scene. Pat Hearn wanted to be (and did become) Mary Boone.

And that picture of The Empress and I is hysterical. Miss Understood says I look like I just got off the boat from some third world dump.
(I did).
1975-1980: CHARMING OLD NEW YORK

{This post was pre-recorded.}
Johnny I remember that so well, but I do wonder why you all'ins thought we were so dangerous. We were rowdy as hell but I guess I was in my own world and did not
realize how mad we appeared.

I learned so much from Rene... and not just about 'brusquerie' if you will, trusting in your instincts and speaking your mind, but 'how to" make a bon mot out of it, so it hit home and couldn't be erased... He is my spiritual father but when I see him I don't hardly recognize him. In my novel "One Decadent Life' in compensation I make him a REFORMED heroin addict, to retrieve the genius...

After Duncan and I broke up (1980) I would dig up Edit and Rene, and assuredly THAT threesome was a terror. I remember when you lived at Edit's. I went to a party there, and it may have been the first time I ever met Chichi. She was just like she is today, so brainy and with that smiling irony. She scared me as a True Dominant Woman! When she was the bartender at Danceteria or some other manifestation of the Rudolph/Jim Fouratt impresario routine, we started talking...

Rene, Edit and I would go charging into clubs and bars and never pay for anything. (0r at least I would try to and the two Sacred Monsters would just steal money off the tables...) We would dance frenziedly trampling the hoi polloi... Edit used to tell people I drank blood because she would say "You Never Age!" btw I have never drunk blood.

What is Edit doing now, anyhow?

PS You know Pat Hearn passed away?
Though I liked a lot of the art at the New Museum show it was not actually about the art. As much as I liked the kooky dancing bee video for its low-budget, tres gay, faux MTV production value, Klaus Noami's video (with sound so lamentably under-amped), the Jack Smith AMAZING 1962 film -the show is about the scene and the people and not really about the art at all! Not too subtle about that either, since the whole upstairs gallery is devoted to 'class' pictures and headshots of the scenesters who are presented as such and not as artists. Probably the most interesting visual of the whole show is the display of gallery announcements.

What one comes away with from the show is that there was no really ground-breaking art, no history-shattering aesthetic advancements, as hard as the Vaisman/Bickerton et. al clique tried in the end. The only people that really moved forward were Levine, Simmons, and maybe Goldin -the photographers.

So what the show really documents and canonizes is that the EV 80's art boom was a gallery movement. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of fun art to see at the show. The toughest piece though was Martin Wong's painting with the poem by the late criminal/saint/poet Miguel Pinero -and the photo of the duo in the museum's upstairs shrine is the edgeyist among the deadpan group shots and embarrassing headshots. Excepting out the charming Chi Chi and impossibly impish Daddy snap.

It is a mark of the level of vapidity of much of the art that the emphasis in this museum show is on the artists as personalities -as being wild bohemians- and their art is relegated to being an incidental aspect of their status.

I bet this show will not generate any substantial reviews about the ART, just loads of nostalgia about the people and the scene.

In an era that is the result of over 20 years of conservative villification of the arts it is also interesting to note that a museum will skew a major retrospective of a period towards emphasizing the personalities of the artists and stay away from presenting the art as being important for some reason that has significance and gravity for society in general.

Emphasizing the personalities of the scene and the nostalgia for it also says something about the whole art sector in New York City. How parochial.
Oh, that is a beautiful question.

I am STILL charmed. When I walk out of my East Village building near Avenue C and the first thing I hear from way up the block on a rainy early morning is the voice of Miguel Algarin, founder (along with Miguel Pinero and several others) of the still-in-existence Nuyorican Poets Cafe, as he sings a poem for no other reason than to greet the day, bounce sound off the buildings, and maybe, spark me to dance up the street into his embrace.
Oh seven...
what an image! I can totally see it.
And I agree with you. The show is really a nostalgic look at a scene.

And Stan,
an update.
Edit actually just called me the other day and left a very long, beautiful, criptic New Year's message. I guess she's OK. She works with Donald Baechler now. She's still on the sauce but functioning I guess.

And...
I sat next to Rene not long ago at a show. He's very twitchy. He had to leave every few minutes (which was good and saved him from being thrown out). He's the same... just more so.

And yes, I know about Pat Hearn. Chi Chi and I were in Provincetown when she died. Bruce Fuller & Jack Pierson told us. It was very sad.
Of course the EV Art Show is about the art. It can't be divorced from the scene it, the art, first and foremost created. It was not just a bunch of people drinking in bars, e.g do you think the "Meat Market Scene" will end up in a gallery?

Did David W. live and die for your dismissals? Just because you don't like the art doesn't mean it is not a real force... we did not predict then how important it would be, and you can't predict now how influential it will continue to be.
S'tan, please calm down. Nowhere have I said I did not like the art.

I would respectfully like to hear what you think about how or in what way the art from that secene was influential, and what or whom it has influenced. And what real force it is supposed to have exercised other than an economic one. A widely accepted and agreed hallmark of the vast majority of the art from that scene was principally that it was known for being derivative and for being based on reams of influences. Also, I would respectfully like to hear what, according to you, David W. lived and died for. The museum show sheds absolutely no light on these points at all, in fact the curators self-consciously abstain from doing so.

I'm not sure what the point is that you are trying to make about a bar scene S'tan.
This thread is not about the EV Art scene. It was trying to reflect on those aspects of New York we have seen depart: Farewell Charming Old New York.

Sanctimonious attitude from those -- including myself -- who are not painters, deciding that some passionate artists are really only sell-outs, or even deciding they were perfect, whatever... what is the point? Do we really know eveything about who they were, and what they intended? Because Kostabi and Warhol were cynical money-lovers doesn't mean everyone else was or is or will be.

I was reminiscising about those times 1980- on, and how my life and the lives of artists I know have changed. Not just in the East Village, but all over the New York area. Starting with famous old bars and nightclubs, and the ghosts of those who dwelt there... I am sure you don't care that these 'elitist' establishments are all dying. But for example I can't say 'why' I was so devastated when the original Russian Tea Room died. You grow up in a place, and you don't like to see things die. Even if it is just an artificial construct like a bar or restaurant.

This is one reason I love Paris so much. There are shops there and scenes which haven't changed since my first trip there in 1973. Call me boringly sentimental but when something lasts, I'm in awe, like it's a miracle.

By the same token I love destruction and total upheaval. And this is why the EV scene was so wonderful for me and quite a few others. Artists from that time, now in their fifties & sixties who once had a good scene going in New York, now have to live in the boonies and travel all over to make a living. The economic realities of the 1980s, when you could literally work a couple of days a month and pay your rent, are poof. At least half a dozen I know have moved to the Deep Styx in New Mexico, and some have the shell-shocked look of an army who liberated themselves within one country, only to find it become totalitarian, and they had to flee with their lives.

So if you want to keep carrying on about how that scene was false, dubious or just an illusion -- wow how awful for the art world -- please go to Troylegra's first thread and continue on. Perhaps I will answer you there on that subject.
I'm sorry but you are completely wrong about me.
And most of what I've said here, which of course you have so delightedly misinterpreted for the purpose of your displeasure.

That in itself has a certain charm.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the view that a whole scene could be overpopulated with people bent on self-preservation, economic viability, finding a place to seek whatever pleasure was to their liking, while producing art that for the most part wasn't really so momentous, but still the people -the individuals themselves- possessed a certain toxic attractiveness.

But I understand your dismay at having found there is someone who does not think disagreeing with you means they should stay out of here.

Surely you can see how charming something like New York's art world is when it exercizes some of the city's principal characteristics: distortion, exaggeration, bile, self-absorbed melodrama.

So you should take heart dear S'tan, that even though so many of your acquaintances seem to have become figures of pathos in backward parts of the nation, the underlying character of this city remains ever so twistedly charming.

It is a rather easy exercise for me to call out the names of the Jack Wilers, Patricia Landrums, Bimbo Rivases, the Tomassos, the Giza Endeshas, the Cenens -beautiful, and beautifully flawed, creators who existed in the eye of a blastfurnace scene, who are now all dead. But their destruction provides no priviledged history. It is easy to mention the JD Rages, Steve Canons, Carl Herrs, Diane Burnses, Tito Lespiers, the Jemeel Moondocs, people whose creativity had no peers, living diminished existences after all the great parties only led to punishing rents, careers as cab drivers, regimines of reverse transcriptease inhibitors, methadone or haldol. The charm of these people is that the city never noticed them. And that's the charm of this city too, that it can be so utterly ignorant of what it has. That it can waste so much human brilliance. That the powers of its official myths, once you've lived on the inside, aren't any more noble or admirable than the rude jerk cutting on you in line at the turnstyle.
Farewell charming old lines outside of nightclubs! Finally, no more waiting around to get into all my favorites: Cielo, Spirit, et al. It's PartyBuddys! Yesterday's NYT had a fascinating story about a couple of alleged former Limelight habitues, who are putting their club-smarts to good use: PartyBuddys helps Joe and Jane Schmos bypass lines and gain instant access to VIP lounges at all of the city's top clubs -- for a fee. I am so down with the hire-a-paparazzo, too. A steal at $250/night. It's not enough to have an open-door policy all over town these days. Now goons can bypass the hundreds of other goons in line, by paying out the wah-zoo. Paging doorminatrix Kitty Boots! Now why didn't I think of this??

January 16, 2005
An In With the In Crowd, for a Fee
By FRANK OWEN
New York Times

DRESSED in a sober business suit, Jorge Lima, 30, a salesman for a pharmaceuticals company, looked out of place among the gyrating house music mavens at Cielo, a lounge with a futuristic theme in the meatpacking district known for a rotating cast of celebrity D.J.'s.

But Mr. Lima didn't mind. On a recent Saturday night, sitting at a private table with a bottle of overpriced vodka, he was having the time of his life watching his pal Sam Oro awkwardly navigate the sunken dance floor and listening to Veronica Vega, a trim and attractive 28-year-old, urging him to dance with her as she poured him a drink.

By day Ms. Vega is a makeup artist, but on Saturdays she works for a company called PartyBuddys and is paid to accompany people like Mr. Lima and his friend from club to club, making sure the velvet ropes always part and that they are shown the best tables.

Ms. Vega, who was dressed this evening in Seven jeans and a Phat Farm top, was to earn $200 plus tips for her night's work from PartyBuddys, a six-month-old service that is basically a nightlife tour company.

"Many of our clients work for big corporations and they don't know the scene," Ms. Vega said. "My job is to make sure they get treated like V.I.P.'s so they can concentrate on having a good time."

Only 20 minutes after arriving at Cielo, Mr. Lima vowed to invite his pharmaceuticals-company colleagues to join him next time. "This is as cool as it gets," he said, as the walls pulsated with lights behind him. "I'm so relaxed right now. I don't have to worry about anything. The guys I work with would love this environment."

Outside a Town Car waited to whisk Mr. Lima off to the next stop, Spirit, the cacophonous West Side dance club, where George Parades, another employee of PartyBuddys, had already arrived to makes sure managers, bouncers and doormen were aware that special guests were on the way.

"I hope there's a line 50 feet long at Spirit just so I can bypass the whole thing," Mr. Lima, who lives and works in New Jersey, said as he headed out of Cielo. "You know what it feels like to get out of the car and walk straight into the club without having to deal with doormen or bouncers. It's amazing."

For the average person, gaining entry to a Manhattan nightclub can be an exquisite form of cruelty. There's the velvet rope that separates the hip from the hoi polloi. There's the seething crowd waving worthless invitations and begging for admittance. There's the snooty doorman looking for flaws in your appearance. Once through the front door, there are often more barriers to navigate: the V.I.P. rooms and the V.V.I.P. rooms, all designed to underscore the customer's place on the social totem pole. Even the most enthusiastic clubgoer can feel deflated.

PartyBuddys, the inspiration of James King and Jason Roefaro, both 30 and both from Union City, N.J., promises to "make normal people feel fabulous for the night," according to its Web site, www.partybuddys.com.
Its night-out package includes a guide (the party buddy) to usher clients "through crowds of jealous bystanders," limousine service, complimentary drinks and V.I.P. treatment at six Manhattan clubs (Cielo, Plaid, Webster Hall, Copacabana, Spirit and China Club).

Fees for the night start at $350 a person; full rock-star treatment is available for $1,200.

Mr. King and Mr. Roefaro, who operate the business out of Mr. Roefaro's late grandmother's brick house in Union City, estimate that at least 60 percent of their clients are middle-aged professionals from out of town who have never visited a New York nightclub.

"This service is like paying to drive a race car or be taken up in a fighter plane," Mr. Roefaro said. "They're not race car drivers or fighter pilots, they're accountants and lawyers, but for a short time they can imagine they are. For that night, they're not an accountant; they're Paris Hilton or P. Diddy."

He told the story of a dozen executives from a Minneapolis financial consulting firm who were visiting New York for a conference. "We didn't plan this part," Mr. Roefaro said, "but they hired fake paparazzi to photograph them getting in and out of the limo. They also had their own velvet rope and red carpet they carried around with them."

Paying someone to help get you into a nightclub may seem like a tacky idea, especially to those who use their personal style and personal connections to breeze past the velvet rope. "It sounds absolutely awful," said Jonathan Cheban, a nightlife publicist. "V.I.P. rooms are for real V.I.P.'s; you're not supposed to buy your way in. Who knows who these PartyBuddys people are? Maybe they're celebrity stalkers."

But the existence of such a service in today's club world is not surprising, said Steve Lewis, who has worked at many New York clubs of the last 25 years, recently helping design the interiors of the hot spots Marquee and Select. Mr. Lewis said PartyBuddys was a sign of the times. "The new V.I.P. isn't a downtown trendy, a Suzanne Bartsch or a Chi Chi Valenti," he said. "The new V.I.P. is a businessman with a credit card in his pocket who is willing to spend money."

Noah Tepperberg, an owner of Marquee, which is known for attracting celebrities, has never heard of PartyBuddys. To him, he said, it sounded like one of the many so-called concierge services (Fast Metropolis, Quintessentially, Key2NewYork) that phone Marquee regularly to try to get clients admitted. "We tell them to come down but we can't guarantee entry," Mr. Tepperberg said. "Basically it's up to the doorman."

Mr. King said PartyBuddys is different from a concierge service. "Concierge services don't send their employees out with you to watch your back," he said. "With a concierge service, once you get to the club, you're on your own."

The idea for PartyBuddys came from Mr. King's and Mr. Roefaro's experience as club-goers dating back to the early 90's, when both were regulars at Limelight, the Chelsea nightclub that stands as a kind of high-water mark of 90's nightlife decadence. "Friends would always call and ask us, 'What do we do? Where do we go?' " said Mr. King, who is short, stocky and baby-faced. "After a while, we were like, 'Let's make a business out of this.' "

After a car accident in 2001, in which Mr. Roefaro nearly died, he quit his job at a funeral parlor and persuaded his boyhood friend Mr. King to leave his job as a television cameraman and go into business with him, first with a small advertising agency, and then, three years later, with PartyBuddys.

But times have changed since Limelight's heyday, as the new company's founders realized. New York clubs are now more conservative environments that cater to a crowd ready to spend generously on a night out.

Exorbitantly priced liquor, not drugs like Ecstasy or Special K, is the intoxicant of choice. "Our clients aren't snorting coke in the back of the limo," said Mr. Roefaro, who is tall and thin, with long hair and a beard that make him look like Al Pacino in "Serpico." "In fact, we make them sign a contract saying that if they use illegal narcotics the tour will be terminated."

PartyBuddys has arrangements with the six Manhattan clubs it visits to pay a fee in advance of a client's visit, based on each club's door charge, the size of the party and an estimate of how much alcohol will be consumed. (Mr. Roefaro said the company estimates one bottle at each club for every three people, which costs between $250 and $350.) The fee also covers gratuities for the clubs' employees; customers may tip the party buddy for good service at the end of the night. In addition, the service includes a "party ambassador" who acts as a liaison with the clubs and makes sure a table is waiting when the customers arrive.

Not everyone who uses PartyBuddys is paying for admittance to a world of fun and fabulousness to which they would otherwise be denied access. Some hire the service for the convenience factor. A week before Mr. Lima visited Cielo, three women in their mid-20's from Weehawken, N.J. - a nurse, a clerk and a teacher - paid $350 each to be ferried from Copacabana to Plaid and then to Webster Hall. All three are regular clubgoers and could have passed through the portals without the aid of PartyBuddys, though they probably would have had to stand in line a while.

But they chose the service because they wanted the night to be hassle free.

"We had a great time," Jennifer Ballester, the clerk, said at the end of the night. "I thought it was good value for money. I didn't have to worry about driving. I didn't have to worry about waiting in line or getting a table. It was well worth the $350."

So far, the nightclubs with which PartyBuddys has negotiated deals also appear pleased with the arrangement. "They bring in a very nice class of people," said Sean McGarr, the president of Webster Hall. "I've heard a lot of people talk about starting something like PartyBuddys, but they were the first to actually implement the idea."

Mr. King and Mr. Roefaro said they are not yet making much money from their enterprise, though they have attracted about 120 clients in six months. About 70 percent of their revenue goes to pay the clubs, the limousine service and the company's guides.

They have added options to increase their income. Now clients can hire a personal bodyguard ($45 an hour), a pseudo-paparazzo ($250 for the night) and a personal shopper to help find the appropriate outfits to wear club-hopping. They are also hoping to expand their roster of clubs. Recently, Mr. King approached Marquee, which is known for its strict door policy.

"I talked to someone at Marquee about our clients coming to the club, and she said, 'Sure, come down, we're interested,' " Mr. King said, and laughed. "I went there but the doorman wouldn't let me in."
I'm speechless.
This is so funny it's not even funny.
Hundreds of thousands of people are dead and suffering in Asia but these turkeys from New Jersey (sorry Debbie) can spend a thousand dollars to get into Webster Hall!
I wonder if they think they are going to see Jennifer Lopez there. Or maybe dance on a table with Paris Hilton or do coke with Tom Cruise.
Oh wait, no drugs.
Just when you think things can't sink any lower...
they do.
So let's just go to "Cain" and call it a day.
And this from Musto:
quote:
Having just recovered from all those mind-rotting 10-best lists, it's time for a four-worst list of the year in parties from a schmooze-or-lose veteran who really knows when he's being punished by "fun." For this purpose, I've melded examples of the skankiest party elements into composites of the most heinous events you might have gotten invited to if Satan was on your shoulder. And so:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WORST CLUB

Six different promoters put you on the list, but the "door god""”fresh off death row thanks to a call from the governor"”is still screaming, "How do you spell Michael?" You bribe your way in and find a clientele that's diverse only because, later on, each person gets off at a different exit of the Jersey Turnpike. They're all freelance toilet scrubbers, but somehow, they're able to spring for bottle service"”i.e., wildly overpriced decanters of medium-shelf booze served by a sultry siren whose exposed butt crack can't be fully appreciated by old-school gay guys. If CHARLES MANSON showed up and was willing to pay for bottles, he'd be swept right in with his entourage, while MATHILDE KRIM, the DALAI LAMA, and the LORD himself would be asked to wait for hours in the freezing rain. The decor is nouveaux equatorial African as envisioned by someone who has never left the Upper East Side. You shouldn't have either, especially since the DJ playing tunes from the '80s, when all music apparently stopped, could just as well be clubbing you over the noggin with his turntable. Worse, none of the doors marked "exit" are really exits, for some reason. They didn't want you in, and now apparently, they don't want you to ever leave!



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WORST PRIVATE PARTY

It's a self-published-book bash at the above club, and though you got so many Evites for it that they crashed your computer, that same door god is there giving you a glazed look as his steroids kick in and his dick retracts and peeks out through his butt. You covertly service it to get in, then find that the crux of the party is a glorified photo op taking place in the lobby, which is layered with posters for a Latvian liquor made out of potato skins. The bored photogs start shooting you, since the only "stars" there are reality show losers, warthog understudies from The Lion King's tour of the Adirondacks, and, of course, MISCHA BARTON. The flack pushes you out of the photos and onto the host, who graciously hands you a signed copy of her book"”to give to someone else.

In the main room, the "bar god" (another ex-con) is only serving the Latvian liquor, which for obvious reasons has a limitless number of bottles to give away. You beg to pay for a real brand, but he won't even think of something so subversive, and suddenly bottle service doesn't sound so bad, does it? You throw the book at him"”literally"”but karma comes when you stand near the kitchen door to get first dibs at the "sumptuous eats" (namely one soggy spring roll per hour), and end up flattened by a speeding waiter on tina. At least some scalding sauce has fallen onto your face and you can try to lick at it to stay alive. As you do, the publicist leans over to say, "Make sure you mention the Latvian liquor." The next day's papers say that five minutes after you left, every one of your favorite stars came and partied naked for hours.



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WORST PARTYGOER

A nebbish who cranes his head to find someone better, when you were only talking to him as a charity fuck anyway. The douche who says, "I haven't seen you in 15 and a half years. What's new?" Or "Hi. Who am I? Do you remember me? Come on, who am I?" Or "I'm so happy we're both still alive! Everyone's dying!" Or the self-promoter who exults, "Hi! I was mentioned in the Times Real Estate section last year! In an ad I took out!" Or the dickweed who says inane, boring things no one could possibly care about, followed by "That was off the record, by the way." Or who skips all formalities in order to start spewing Z-list name-droppings. ("I was hanging with Nicole the other day. You know, Eggert. She's Ginger on
Gilligan's Island. Well, The Real Gilligan's Island. Well, she's one of the Gingers.")



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WORST RESTAURANT

There are tons of available tables up front, but they ask you to wait at the bar for "a few minutes," then an hour later seat you way in the back room where you can't be seen by anyone important. (Little do they know you're the arbiter of Gotham chic.) You couldn't get a waiter's attention even with a flare gun, especially since your waiter is that scary door god, who finally got fired and is angrier than ever. You start humming "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago and someone across the room snaps, "Shhh!"

Even worse is the opposite"”an attention-hungry place where, for lack of anyone better there, you're the unwitting center of the entire staff's universe. Before you've even gotten a stale roll, people are pouring out of the kitchen to ask, "How's everything so far? Do you like it?" ("Oh, yes," you want to gush. "The silverware is just amazing!") With every nibble comes another plea for approval until even the chef's daughter's gym teacher stops by to say, "How's everything? Are you enjoying yourself?" Gee, I would be if you freakin' well-wishers would leave me the fuck alone for a second!

Actually you'd still be suicidal. After all, you have to sit in the lotus position as your kimono-wearing server, Seymour, screams the specials over the Ultimate Kylie CD. You thought he said wasabi scrod, but he actually brings walrus scrotum, and on skewers yet! It's being served dysfunctional-family-style, so you and your party have to battle it out over every bite, torn between friendship and survival. Models love this place"”but then again models don't eat, do they? Ready to run home to the Stouffer's, you sign the credit card bill and nobly check the box that adds a specified tip. Seymour brings back your receipt, which shows he gave himself a larger percentage. (This actually happened to me at Tavern on the Green.) At least he had a great beverage recommendation"”$20 shots of the Latvian liquor, served warm. You jump into a cab and notice your driver is the ex-door god.


tell em Michael

________________


(FYI the "worst club" is our favorite, CAIN)

Musto Rules!
Though I haven't actually been there and just might not as my evening clothes are growing cobwebs, Cain sounds just as bad as all the others:

http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/41467347/new_york_ny/cain.html?cslink=roundup_name_noncust&ulink=roundup__roundupentity1-1_1__0_profile_5_1

"For the women who love fur and the men who love them" - seriously!

I'd like to direct a sleazoid version of Partybuddys. Venues will include the Cock (where I will leave the women standing outside), the Hole (where I will force them to buy drugs)... any other suggestions? As I'm not even up on my sleaze. At the end of the night the whole party can get arrested, or better yet, gay-bashed by a hand-picked gang of NJ-ites... And of course if they can find him, Gnome will be added to the entourage.

Or better yet, why not just BUILD a FAKE nightclub dedicated to these rich jokers, where can role-play anything they want? Build them a VIP lounge and pay all kinds of folks to populate the place and fawn on them. Why stop at the interior of the limo?

Oh. I guess... 'fake nightclub' is an oxymoron. At least this year.
Just when you think it can't get any lower...

quote:
"My MTV reality show starts March 10. It's a Go every Thursday for six half-hour episodes. The program follows me and my young assistants. It shows how they organize a party, who they invite, what celebs are draws, which journalists you call, when you schedule it."


Lizzy GrubWhore

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Her young assistants -the class D felons, organize a party by shooting hand signals in the mess hall, invite the lifers and initiates only, plead for the attendance of transferees from Guantanamo Bay, keep the whole thing on the downlow, and schedule it all during showertime -all up in Ossening State Prison.
S'tan-- Sorry for resuscitating this thread, but (from today's Daily News) it appears there're only a few nails left for this coffin. What a long, sad, death. Why don't they just bring out the wrecking ball already?

quote:
Is New York City putting its worst foot forward in its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Summer Games?

Lowdown hears that members of the finicky International Olympic Committee - who are also being wooed by Madrid, London, Paris and Moscow - are staying at the Plaza Hotel during an official scouting visit later this month.

Unfortunately, the storied hotel, where guests pay up to $1,100 a night for a luxury suite, is starting to resemble a Motel 6.

"They should replace the concierge desk with a complaints bureau," reports a Lowdown spy. "They're cannibalizing the place and not buying any equipment or resources."

The Plaza is scheduled to shut down next month - after the IOC visit - for two years of renovations.

But maybe that's not soon enough. Guests are suffering such indignities as filthy rooms, bathrooms and hallways; empty minibars; paper napkins and mismatched plates at the ritzy Palm Court, and even a shortage of basic utensils like teaspoons.

What's more, most of the items on the room service menu are no longer available, and the once-posh Oyster Bar is now serving strictly pub food.

But perhaps most unnerving, Lowdown hears, is that when guests check out, the unused portions of their complimentary bottles of lotion and shampoo are taken downstairs, emptied and blended into other bottles.

Informed of the litany of complaints, a Plaza rep would offer only: "The Plaza Hotel is at a historic transition period. The staff of the Plaza continues to do its best to deliver services befitting the hotel's legacy with all available resources."

Hotel workers' union spokesman John Turchiano told Lowdown, "It's obvious the new owners are milking the building for everything they can get."
Speaking of farewell, this charming property is available for sale right now in Tribeca for only $1,800,000. Here is the description:

"Handsome corner Tribeca Loft Building with a rich cultural history. Filled with light from fourteen windows per floor. North & West exposure, exposed brick, exposed beams. All new systems throughout. Former home of (guess...) Country kitchen, vintage tiled bath, two additional full plumbing risers, finished with architectural concrete and Beechwood 5" plank floors. Central A/C..."

Another hint: it's located two blocks south of Canal, just east of Broadway.

For The Answer, Click Here
I don't know the real deal at this building, but it seems more than a little disingenuous for this Rosenblatt character to use "the homeless" as a pawn in the thing. Ugh.

Famed Punk Bar CBGBs Facing Eviction

Mar 17, 4:43 PM (ET)

By LARRY McSHANE

NEW YORK (AP) - Hours earlier, Hilly Kristal joined rock's royalty inside a Waldorf-Astoria ballroom for the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions.

By the morning, though, Kristal sips a cup of coffee and pops an antacid as he considers the future of his own piece of rock history: CBGB's, the venerable birthplace of punk. After 32 years in business, the world-renowned club on the Bowery is in danger of losing its lease.

"Even at this Hall of Fame thing, people were coming up and asking, 'What can we do? What can we do?'" Kristal recalls, sitting at his cramped desk just inside the club's front door. "It's very discouraging after all these years."

Kristal says the club owes $91,000 in back rent - through a bookkeeping mix-up. (His landlord concurs, but still wants the money.) Come August, when its lease expires, he expects the current $19,000 monthly rent to at least double, although Kristal's landlord says there will be no new lease unless the old mess is gone.

"Show me you can meet your current obligations, and then we'll talk about new ones," says Muzzy Rosenblatt, executive director of the Bowery Residents' Committee. "His destiny is in his own hands."

Rosenblatt's group holds a 45-year lease on the building, where the agency houses 250 homeless people above the club. CBGB's is their lone commercial tenant; their rent feud dates back five years, when the committee went to court to collect more than $300,000 in back rent from the club.

The agency currently is in court trying to evict CBGB's, citing the current unpaid rent and Kristal's alleged failure to repair code violations in the legendary club. Kristal is battling on both fronts.

"I'm energized," says the gray-bearded owner. "I'm going to fight."

For fans of the dank storefront bar, its demise would mean the demolition of the Empire Punk Building.

"I consider it a historic place," says Tommy Ramone, drummer in one of the club's most enduring bands. "It would be like losing a landmark of sorts, you know?"

CBGB's, with its familiar white awning, holds a special place in the city's music history. It was here that the Ramones, the Talking Heads and Blondie created the punk scene for small crowds that paid a $1 cover charge.

"CBGB's allowed bands - original bands, no less - the freedom to go and play and do whatever they pleased," recalls Tommy Ramone. "It was a good fit."

Rosenblatt is aware of the club's legacy. He and his future wife shared their first kiss inside the club, although he's quick to add that nostalgia won't keep its doors open.

"I will not subsidize CBGB's at the expense of the homeless," Rosenblatt said. "I can't allow my own sentimentality to impede our ability to serve homeless people."

For Rosenblatt, that's one of the major problems in his agency's dispute with Kristal. He estimates the committee has spent $50,000 in legal fees and expenses to collect back rent from the club and to force Kristal to bring his space up to code, taking money away from the homeless.

Kristal suggested that greed was at the root of his problems with the landlord. A new tenant could afford a much steeper rent, and the building housing the club is now worth many millions of dollars, he said.

Back in the early '90s, when the neighborhood was still dicey, Kristal considered buying the building - but he couldn't raise the needed $4 million. The majority of money generated by the club now comes from T-shirt sales, he said.

Kristal was considering several options, including turning the space into a museum during the day. The club is already a repository of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, with every spare inch of its walls covered in posters, fliers and stickers for hundreds of bands.

Several wealthy benefactors have also stepped up with offers to rescue the club, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. "It's an icon of the New York music scene," the dot-com billionaire said by e-mail, confirming his interest.

Kristal doesn't know if that will help.

"You raise $50,000, $100,000 - big deal," he said. "This is going to be $20,000 a month more, at least. It doesn't make sense."
Hi Guys I am posting this event here too scusi if you have seen it in the WB category - This is an emergency tho - Bloomberg wants to turn Wburg into Battery Park City. I am too old and cranky too be forced from my home. I am also frightened of waking up to dicover I am living in a huge friggin Ikea surronded by blonde wood!
Thank you all!

March 30th: Rev Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery --8pm-- Cast the devil out of the developers!

Bloomberg and his greedy land-grabber friends have proposed one of the most catastrophic rezonings in NYC's history for Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It's happening under our noses and, in fact, it's happening all over the city. Who will decide what development looks like?

It's an epic battle...meet the players in the Williamsburg Rezoning Brawl:

Team Bloomberg has a plan to add a wall of 40-story, luxury condos along the waterfront and privatize access to the river. As for silly extras like more park space, increased L service, or affordable housing...who needs them? Safeguarding over 4000 local jobs and businesses will take a back seat to high-rise hysteria.

Team Community has a plan to create a public esplanade on the water, set a height cap on sky-rises and mandate affordable housing. All that and green space too! Plus increased L service, and a healthy light industry sector.

The Final public hearing takes place at City Hall April 4th. We must pack the place, inside and out. Tell the city "No!" and remember:

Bloomberg has a scam -- the Community has a plan!

**For more information:**
http://www.communityplan.org
http://www.northbrooklynalliance.org
http://www.williamsburgwarriors.org
I wonder how many Motherboarders have worked there over the years? C'mon, I know you have.
(Remember that hideous Dyke Bitch "Helen" who would never give anyone a booking?) "The Gaiety" and "Billy's Topless" have done more to support art in New York than ANY grant from the N.E.A.!!!!!)

One more nail in the coffin.

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From towelroad:

quote:
The Gaiety Theatre in Times Square, Manhattan's last male strip club, has closed its doors after nearly 30 years of notoriety. A message on the theatre's listed number says,

"The Gaiety Theatre is closed. Thank you for a wonderful 30 years. Also, watch the gay publications for a possible relocation address."

According to sources, the building housing it was sold and is being torn down to make way for a new development. This is certainly a passing moment in the city's gay history. With this last nail in the coffin the Disneyfication of Times Square can now be called complete.

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From towelroad:

quote:
The Gaiety opened its doors on a winter night in 1976 and consistently attracted an interesting mix of young hustlers, businessmen, tourists, and celebrities on the DL to its pleasantly dingy, boxy room with its small stage and sparkling curtain. Andy Warhol, John Waters, and Divine were all patrons back in the day but the theatre attracted legions more of the years, whether they were sitting in the back hiding behind dark glasses or not.

In 1992 Madonna published her Sex book and shined a spotlight on the theatre, employing some of its dancers, along with porn star Joey Stefano and German cult movie actor Udo Kier in her erotic adventure.

When Giuliani came in to clean up the image of Times Square back in 1995, the theatre scrambled and changed policies to adapt to the new code and stay in business. Since then, the porn shops and sex venues that used to litter the area have slowly vanished, one by one, but the Gaiety's demise is certainly a milestone in the history of sex in New York.

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Great link Hattie!
Though I do take issue with the statement that The Gaiety Boys didn't put on shows like they did at The Eros.
quote:
Unlike the Gaiety dancer who's primary prop was an erection, Eros dancers would oftentimes put on something of a theme show incorporating props such as chains, ponchos, "Indian garb", chaps and whips. Some of them would even have little sets depicting some kind of scene.

That's just not true. In fact, my "New York 88" show featured a "Cowboy" and an "Indian" act. Straight from The Gaiety (and The Guilded Grape & G.G. Barnums).
There were shows!

And Jimmy Scouse, where you been whore?

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Aww, Daddy, the Gilded Grape! You just slammed me with a bunch of memories of a gay New York that no longer exists... bars and floors and stages that harkened back to a mysterious
verboten subculture that truly was the twilight world of the homosexual (always one of my fave phrases, of course.)
I can remember waking up each day, hungry to experience a different aspect of it... would it be the outdoor cruising at The Soldiers & Sailor's monument, the miniscule dancefloor at The Barefoot Boy, the Stand-And-Stare at Boot Hill, The Barracks Baths on 42nd Street, The Gaiety or The Gilded Grape, The International Stud in the Village, The Trucks, The Piers, tonight?
New York had an amazing menu to choose from. All of which was very obviously leftover from the great influx of homosexuals to this town during the War. There was always the feeling that the sticky floor under your feet had not been cleaned since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. It was, dare I say, romantic, dangerous and very very secret. And there was a lot of it-- much more than there is now. If you were not in the know, however, it was very possible to be completely oblivious to its existence. You really did have to be a "member" of a secret club to know what was hidden behind this or that particular doorway. The map to these secrets was passed down from generation to generation-- a living, oral tradition, always acquired at an early age; it required a finely tuned radar to navigate the difficult terrain. So much so, that later I was able to go to anyplace on earth, discover the exact counterpart to this hidden world and even speak the local sexual lingua franca with ease.
Part of what erased this, of course, was acceptance. Which is what we really wanted in the first place. But along with that acceptance has come assimilation and even ghettoization. The signs are very clearly marked for the uninitiated-- it's now a "gay club" or a "straight club," squeaky clean, above board and... soulless.

Ah well, I remember driving with my friend Karl downtown in his father's car. He was so much older than me, 21, and had a license. We would go to the the Gilded Grape or The Gaiety and just marvel. "Girl," he would say in his rotten Bronx accent, "Didja get dat dancer? Da one in cowboy drag? She had trade fa days... fa' days!"

And there is also a gorge bit in one of the genius Miss Vera's books describing exactly what The Grape was like in those days.
Hattie if you don't write that book I'm gonna come downtown, turn you upside down and shake it out of you!!!!

quote:
I can remember waking up each day, hungry to experience a different aspect of it... would it be the outdoor cruising at The Soldiers & Sailor's monument, the miniscule dancefloor at The Barefoot Boy, the Stand-And-Stare at Boot Hill, The Barracks Baths on 42nd Street, The Gaiety or The Gilded Grape, The International Stud in the Village, The Trucks, The Piers, tonight?


"The Soldiers & Sailor's monument". You are killing me. I never even heard of half those places.
Oh what a life you've led Hathaway.
LOL. BTW the Soldiers and Sailor's Monument, on 89th & Riverside Park, set in a bit of land that was full of cul-de-sac pathways and bushy outcroppings & hideways for outdoor sex activities, was also called "The Wedding Cake" by the queens. It's a smaller, more frilly version of Grant's Tomb, hence its nickname.

And yes, these posts are serving as the backbone for one of the chapters in my book I hope. Cool
Merlin got to ride in an old checker cab in a snow storm with James Van Der Zee, from West 125th Street to Grants Tomb for a special showing of Mr. Van der Zee's photographs many years ago. merlin remembers a huge beautiful smiling man in vest and suit, with an amazing portfolio. turned out Mr. Van Der Zee's 'parents' (recall not perfect) were President Grant's personal servants.

Google James Van Der Zee under images, you may find a beautiful 1982 Basquiat portrait (http://mapage.noos.fr/blysse/basquiat/chat.htm) among other amazing photos of a long lost New York City.
daddy, met my first manhattan love of my life in front of the old international stud, it lasted for twenty years, lol. the stud had a back room with porn films showing in black & white over head. always confused it with that Aan Fran bar by the same name.

met a handsome cab driver who was chauvering Holly Woodlawn around town at the trucks one evening, early, honest! we had to get her out of there, take her back to the loft in chelsea and then over to Avenue D and east 7th. turned out we were neighbors, lol.

most of the places you quoted were alive and kicking in 1973 lol.
Some of what kept such clandestine places going through the seventies and a fade-out in the early eighties was the plethora of 'alternative' styles of sexual gratification gay men promoted, and which were a part of what people now call a 'lifestyle', leather and bondage, etc. Particular clubs and sexual trawling zones like park locations were the official outlets for those practices and it is in part due to the wanning of those practices that the locations have faded also. Older gay men I know talk about how in the seventies there was a more varied sex life for them and how it now has become much more homogenized. Part of the 'mainstreaming' Hatches mentions as a consequence of social acceptance, which I think has a lot more to do with the recognition of the economic potential of gay sexuality as a market with far more possibilities than just social gathering spots like bars and clubs. So really the departed charm of New York with respect to this is really the departed scope and scale of sexual innovation that the gay community created.
It is definitely true the sex possibilities were more varied, seven. Everything, that was "forbidden" in the first place, was lumped together into a very heady mixture that was certainly very libertine. Therefore, in Riverdale, where I grew up there was a park-- Van Cortlandt Park, one of the largest and wildest (terrain-wise) in the City. Along the western side ran Broadway, which at that point was more like a six lane highway than the commercial street we are familiar with downtown. This was the gay cruising area-- in cars, on foot, on the polo fields and the golf course, along the disused Putnam Railroad tracks, and even up in the ancient graveyard that contained the vandalized remains of the star-crossed Van Cortlandt Family. It was active at all hours of the day, even while people were walking dogs and children were playing in the playground, but if you were not looking for it, you would not see a thing. The real blatant sexual goings-on occurred, though, after the sun went down.
There were a great many "regulars" in this place, and some of the freakier ones after midnight included:
-- Jim, who wanted you to pee on him, and who had, oddly enough, a yellow car.
-- Charles, who wanted to take you back to his place for some give-and-take spanking.
-- A guy we used to call "The Wrestler" who would bring a spare singlet for his partner.
-- A seminary student who would hand you his belt and beg for a thrashing.
-- The businessman who had a complete set of feminine undergarments under his suit.
-- A guy who would hide all his clothing in the bushes and walk around butt-assed naked.
This, and all the "normal" sucking and fucking one might expect.
This area was also the place that we would take our girlfriends to have sex with them.
And so this was the unique education I received. And all before I graduated from high school! Little wonder I never fit into the mainstream!

Merlin, I lived just near Grant's Tomb for a summer, on Claremont Avenue, in a 12 room apartment. One room had floor-to-ceiling windows with billowing white curtains and a piano, and I would sit all day drinking coffee, playing the piano and watching the curtains blow around.
Very Laura Nyro. I was taking care of a friend's dog and would walk her by The Tomb which was in such a state of decomposition with weeds growing waist-high around it. The dog got ticks from those weeds and I learned how to pick them off, using burnt-out matches to entice the ticks to pull out their heads. I then would throw them out the window.
The originial Limelight was also the first disco I went to regularly. Probably because of the Latin flava, Daddy. But the first disco I ever went to, and only once, was Le Jardin. This was maybe 1974.

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I never went to Le Jardin. (some things actually were before my time) but Chi Chi and I worked with John Addison (the owner of Le Jardin and Xenon) later on. What a character!

The music was so happy back then.
I was listening to Larry Levan recorded at The Paradise Garage the other day and I was really surprised by how hopeful the music was. Everything was so new that anything seemed possible. (of course being 17 doesn't hurt either) When I go hear "Big Room" DJs now the music seems so dark.

quote:
Le Jardin
address: 110 West 43rd Street
New York City
(in basement of Hotel Diplomat)

active years:
June 13, 1973- ???

DeeJays:
Bobby "DJ" Guttadaro (photo)
Steve D'Aquisto
Bacho Mangual

information:
"” owner John Addison
"” Le Jardin was first called "L'Oubliette" which is the french word for a small dungeon where they would drop you to forget you
"” two separate floors, the penthouse and the basement
"” Le Jardin was essentially gay with a smallish quota of beautiful women and fashionable straights
"” it was stylish, with bowls of fruit and cheese on tables
"” in March 3, 1975 the coronation of Gloria Gaynor as the Queen of Disco took place here
"” had waiters on rollerskates
"” Diplomat hotel... the palm room was the first gigs for David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter) and his pre-punk group "New York Dolls" in may 1972
"” the Diplomat today is home to many of the north african/senegalese

Playlist May 1975
DJ: Bobby "DJ" Guttadaro
BAD LUCK - Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes
EASE ON DOWN THE ROAD - Consumer Rapport
FOOT STOMPIN MUSIC - Hamilton Bohannon
FREE MAN - South Shore Commission
LOVE DO ME RIGHT - Rockin' Horse
SURVIVAL - The O'Jays
SWEARIN' TO GOD - Frankie Valli
THREE STEPS FROM TRUE LOVE - The Reflections
TORNADO - The Wiz Original Cast album
WHERE IS THE LOVE - Betty Wright

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I like that site too. I sent the guy some of my reminiscences, and it's funny to see them down as 'history'!
(See "The Anvil")
I loved the Limelight. It was around the corner from my apartment on Jones Street and I was there constantly (1973-4). David Bowie was hot & new, everyone was doing boy-girl, poppers... blue lipstick from Biba and divinely decadent green nail polish.

The guy should add "The Duchess" .. it was right down the street frm the Limelight where
there is now either a coffee shop or a Starbucks on Sheridan Square. It was the best dyke club in NY, complete with big fat Mafia guys acting as bouncers.
The hotel diplomat must be the hotel I stayed when the first time I visited NY in 1989. It was my first travel abroad, I was alone, the first time to experience 0 degree temperature, spoke very little English... so it was big help everyone worked in the hotel was so much nice to me Roll Eyes
ah yeah, the fun drag acts at the Limelight, and the biggest mix of people you eva wanted to meet. used to order ameretto and cokes there.

and we've got to get ourselves back to...... Le Jardin (sp), merlin's favorite dance floor in the early/mid seventies and the roof top deco garden space. before the flamingo, before 12 west.

for at least one summer in the mid seventies there was this empty two story building in the west village, it was an after hours bar. a big trucked parked outfront to hide the entrance from the street, it looked abandoned. if you knew where you were going you could find it. to get in, you had to move the rusty gates, when you did, there were a couple of hundred guys in this abandoned building with a bar, no real lights and on two floors to wander around and thru.
this place was a deserted store front with a door to the back hall that paul found and took me too after the bars were shut, you had to know where it was or it looked deserted on the outside. the down stairs was and old store and up the stairs had a big front room with pealing paint and a whole lotta inventoring with hands goin' on.....

bobby, tried to go the the mind shaft once, with my boyfriend at the time, and he, well we, looked so preppy (no colon just the outfit), before you restyled me so many years ago, the 'receptionist' wouldn't let him/us in even while accompanied by a regular lol.

now, those were the day!
Ah Merlin, I remember that storefront, though not its name.
And the club that was an entire empty loft building, completely unfinished, called the Toilet. I mean they just set up a bar on an old table and opened the doors of an abandoned building!
And what was the bar on 17th & Tenth that had a long row of heavy clanking chains that separated the bar area from the backroom? I can never remember the name.

The Hotel Diplomat... I was friendly with the desk clerk and took many johns there, though it was a fully operational normal hotel (as Maki can attest.) There was even a fully operational coffee shop that included that archaic NYC phenomenon-- the soda jerk-- who made fierce cherry-lime rickies and egg creams. People would come from all over the city for them. Further downtown there was another place, The Broadway Central Luncheonette that had a soda jerk and great egg creams and milkshakes. Today, who even knows what an egg cream or cherry-lime ricky is? I doubt the syrup used in them is even manufactured any more. At one time, every New York neighborhood had a soda fountain serving up this fare, as well as burgers and grilled cheese made with a weight on it, so it was as flat as a pancake. BTW, for those who don't know, an egg cream doesn't even have an egg in it. Remembering this really dates me I suppose. More filet of dragon, Grandpa?

The Diplomat also housed Xenon and Le Jardin in one or another of its renovated lobbies or ballrooms. And right next door was the Park-Miller Theatre, a venerable old movie palace that showed only gay porno. There were balconies galore with musty rotting red velvet curtains and lounges galore on many levels with crumbling greek statuary and fountains filled with stagnant water and cigarette butts. One of the lounges had a peeling Jane Russell poster from, I would suppose, the last legit movie showing on those premises.
I worked around the corner in a bookstore that sold old comics, remaindered textbooks and gay porno of all kinds. The window display included all the wares available in the store including huge posters of naked boys with only a small price tag barely obscuring the model's genitals. The owners of this fine establishment, an old, cigar chomping jew named Bob Brown and his overweight son, Rory owned the company that produced these glorious items and tried to convince me and a co-worker Papo to "model" for their company. For some odd reason we both turned them down, much to my later regret. I was 18. I mean who wouldn't want to have a 4 color lifesize poster of themselves bareass 30+ years later? Papo and I used to have sex in the basement after the store closed at 10 at night. Usually spreading out some clean broken-down carboard boxes on the filthy floor. He was married and lived in the Bronx and totally hot.
Upstairs in the the building which had about 12 stories and no elevator, there was a gypsy who would sit outside on a 3 legged stool and try to drag unsuspecting customers upstairs to have their fortunes told. She would come into the store sometimes in the evening, drinking tea from a cracked tea cup and keep us company. Papo and I would always try to get her to leave so we could close a bit early and go down into the basement.
Just recently, when working in that area, I discovered that the whole block, straight through to 43rd was leveled by the wrecker's ball, with only a small sliver of The Miller's facade left standing. This, I think, made me sadder than anything else I have seen in modern New York. I mean that little slice is all that is left of my youth!
Was the Park Miller where someone threw the SLEAZE PARTY, in the mid 70's?

Merlin came to town as a Member of the Everyman Players. We were doing John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, in medeival ensemble style, at the Rockafella Church on 125th Street and Riverside Drive. It was the first such performance in the main naive of the sanctuary.

While staying at the Picadilli Hotel on West 44th Street and fresh to the city, Merlin enjoyed the great location. Just up the block to Jack Demsi's where the drinks were mixed at the table; the Roxy Theatre was still across the street; and the Ed Sullivan Theatre was still famous for just that. Them days, times square & down along 42nd Street was like a big dangerous smorgasboard of luscious music from opened doored leather seated Cadillacs; the bright lights of the old multi bulb theatre facades always looked more Coney Island than Manhatta; the noisey sounds of boys playing pin ball in what seemed like every store; and those just leaning against the store fronts watching everyone pass by the corner cigarette shop on the north west corner of 42nd street. Merlin felt if someone even unknowingly insulted a someone on a walk thru the neighborhood, that someone could hire another someone down the black to slit your someone throat for nothing.
Hatches/ All of that is so familair to me. I arrivied in 1973 to live here but I started visiting on my own in 1969. I remember 42nd Street between Times Square and 8th Ave had male hustlers between the ages of 12 and 50 with their meat shoved down their tight jeans ( in those days tight jeans were the way to go) on both sides of 42nd st. As I walked by at 15 they'd make offers for me to "work" for them.
I didn't know what they were talking about. Work? I was on a weekend trip to the big apple, I wasn't looking for work. Little did I know.

The great porn palaces of the sixties and seventies were still alive and packed full at any time of day or night.

Years later after a night at Xenon I remember an old hustler still on the deuce asking me for a ciggerette and ending up telling me about his having spent the last 30 years hustling on the street. He even pulled out his huge uncut wrinkled cock right there in a doorway and offered it to me on the spot in exchange for another couple of smokes. I gave it a squeeze and him the smokes and headed back uptown to the upper eastside where I lived at the time.

Oh where have all the old timers gone.
I'm here Bobby
I know what you mean about the old queens, they were such a joy on the street...
(Taylor's here too.)

I can't get over we are the same age and came to NY the same year. What if we had met the same first month?
I'm boggled. What year did we meet? Could it have been 1978.

haches that block of west 43rd Street is a psychic disaster zone. Once Chi gave me a tome on the sexual history of NY, where the hot zones were, from colonial times. That block's been full of whorehouses since white man first dropped down here. So never fear, trade is in play as we speak at the heinous Westin. Dare I mention the Shack once held residence there for eleven months just shy of the wrecker's ball.
You sickie! I wrote 1878 too.

Dunkie was very cute! awwww

More pics of Anya! I don't have one of us together, though we took alot of each other.
She is quintessential Farewell Charming Old NY though Chi apprises me of a whole new generation of gorgeous young stripper/dancer/clotheshorse/domme/darlings of Asian persuasion.

Stan
S'tan you were sporting a very Vincent Millay look back then! Or perhaps Karen Blixen on the coffee plantation...
Anya in the Kamali or is it her own?
Duncan of course I was frightened of, though he was gorge. John Tucker, the first Pyramid barkeep, would speak of him in glowing terms constantly.
Bobby, your archives are a treasure trove!
S'tan I have seen that book, and the maps of the whorehouses always amazed me because they were located exactly where our present day hotspots were. Ah, the ghosts of Olde New York!

Another odd thing that I am remembering is that there were periods when absolutely everyone new you met had moved here from a specific place, as if it had been a planned migration. At one point in the Seventies, it was Israel. Then later it was San Francisco. Much later, in the 1980s, L.A., South Africa and then, later still, London and Seattle. I wonder if that mass migration of people just having enough of their cities and moving to NYC happens today. Probably not, as our rents approach those of Tokyo.

Ah, tight jeans, Bobby! I can also remember a period when it was impossible to buy jeans that were not floppy bell bottoms. We had to have them "pegged" before we could wear 'em!
What's wrong with my computer, I don't see an Anya picture?

Hatches that was my no makeup look... I know what you mean about the migrations. E.g.. Duncan came to NY with about 10 friends and no, they didn't all live in the same apartment together,
like you'd probably have to now. Everyone got their OWN place, but would hang out together.

You did used to meet whole groups of artists/performers/writers, who from their home town decided en masse to move here together. This inspired those left back home to come here and give it a go, adding to the artist-bank, and an individual support system.

I'm wondering about those kind of demographics now. Can you imagine a gaggle of trust-fund kiddies coming here together, each getting their own place, paying on the average a $2K monthly rent? What would be the incentive? The fabulous kinky night-life? The burgeoning art scene?

I don't mean to sound cranky though. I went to a party last night at "Shore" and it was packed with cute young things all wearing wild Rites of Spring costumes and horns. The spirit lives on. But I guess we would have to admit it's no longer a wide open town.
Hat/ Oh yes hons, I recall those hideous floppy bell bottoms waaayyyy after we had already worn them and were ready to redefine a new style...I pegged many a bell bottom in my day dear. And now here we go again.. Bell bottoms anyone?

S'tan email me with your current e addy and I'll send you some pics of you and Anya.
kisses xxx
I'm wondering if any young people are moving here at all. I attended a so called 'fetish party' the other night. Totally populated by middle-agers mostly fronting in their expensive off the rack fashions. I counted only one pair of partiers in their twenties in the whole place. It was quite tame. Nothing rough around the edges or actually edgy at all about it. I think we all need to move to Kiev.
surprised to hear all this seven, as it would appear in print photo magazines that 'fetish' is the 'new' sex. like foam and underwear parties used to be. you can play all day (whatever that means) and not get......... tintilized to death?

we were all spoiled by the mix that happened at Click+Drag and nothing has replaced it. so those pretending-to-be-serious is all that is left? and please don't be surprised that the rich ones dress the best, it's like the ugliest ones are always the most naked at the japanese bath in santa fe too.

Merlin can't seem to see past the mtv/britney spears logger jam of current trends. cause everything is barrowed for two seconds and discarded as used while never being explored.
That is a poem Merlin. "cause everything is barrowed for two seconds and discarded as used while never being explored."

I guess fetish parties in NYC are the new Disco.

S'tan, I'm not sure, but I think I meant Kiev, Ukrain. Which oddly still doesn't quite get across that I mean, like, former Soviet Union, because that troika of diners has such monumental presence still. I guess when those stalwart high carb depots get replaced by McSchnitzels and BlintzKing it will truely be time for us to whip out the passport and depart. Michael O'Brien better have his half way house ready for us.
Merly, we were totally spoiled by that sophisticated mix at Click+Drag...
Even then though the blatant fetish exhibitions were a little boring to me! Not to mention getting 'mugged' by insistent (& broke) subs. I loved getting dressed up all gorgey with F-Major, and standing in line along the wall in the Versailles Room. We used to call it "being at court."

After years there was a certain 'pecking order' which added to the ideal of "The Court" as well.
The new parties are just brawls, ROUTS! in comparison.

I am not going anywhere seven.
Anyhow Paris has no "halfway house" for the likes of me.
Perhaps you have an engraved invitation?
lol, funny to hear what you were thinking standing there all these years later stan. always thought you were dreaming of poetry.

Click+Drag was a photographers wet dream. actually haven't looked through any photos from Click+Drag in years. you and seven know more about fetish than merlin. so the understated exotic implications of those nights was as important as anything that happened. it was all just a little too straight for merlin at times.

yes, fetish seems to be moving into mud wrestling these days at 'disco' events seven for sure.
Thanks for the advisory Hatches. I figured after they closed to redecorate something of a downgrade was going to be on the offing. And it was the lesser of the East Block eateries to begin with. I haven't been to Polonia on 1st Ave. since they also cleaned up their facade. The food there used to be serviceable and the wait staff authentic but I am assumeing the face lift means another notch up in the bland spectrum for the fare. When I want some juicy poppy seed roll or a nice smoked herring I hit the little grocery across from Polonia, it is about the size of a small hallway and doesn't seem to have a name.

S'tan and Merlin, Click worked for me though I seem to remember splitting time there with the Bank, unless my mind can't sort these things out too well today. I really got in to Rob's work at Click and was impressed how much he kept it up (impute what you want to that phrase) even after the party moved way downtown where the crowd lost its focuss. I remember Garrett and Rob putting on several totally wet go-go stints at the downtown edition.

S'tan, I do have an engraved invitation, its right on my tongue. I'll show it to you sometime.
Above the Trendy, the Down and Out
By ALAN FEUER
NY Times April 7, 2005

Knock at Room 18 on the fourth floor of 559 West 22nd Street and an old man in a watch cap stumbles to the door.

"What am I doing here?" he asks, answering the question with a question. "I'm dying here," he says.

His name is George Ullrich and, according to his own account, he has been dying here for almost 30 years. He lives in a small room, 10 feet deep by 10 feet wide, and in rooms all down the hallway, a piece of the city's history is slowly dying with him, one old man at a time.

There is Bob Zillard, on the third floor, whose chosen company these days is a six pack of beer. There is Dennis Bolger, around the corner, who, because of hernia problems, can rarely get off the couch.

There is Mr. Ullrich himself, who spends his days reading books on hieroglyphics and ancient Greek. And then there is Kevin - none of his neighbors know his last name - who roams the streets in a baseball cap and white beard half as long as his arm.

These men are the last remaining tenants in No. 559, a building that, like the neighborhood itself, has been swept by major change. West 22nd Street, from 11th Avenue to the West Side Highway, has been transformed from warehouse space to art galleries, from auto body shops to coffee bars. Where once there were stevedores, there are now Italian tourists. Well-heeled women walk expensive-looking dogs.

In the way of these things, the first floor of No. 559 will soon become a glass-and-brushed-steel bar and lounge called Opus 22 where fancy liquor will be served to the cocktail set. The second floor is an art gallery named the Proposition where the current exhibition is titled "Systems Appearances Dogma Taboo."

"Art's not my thing," said Mr. Ullrich, who is 71 years old. "Places change, but people don't. People just get old."

Mr. Ullrich and his fellow tenants recall a different sort of neighborhood, a place of corner bars and broken windows, a place where the rents were so cheap that sailors could pay for six months upfront and then head off to sea.

There are more important matters in the world than the four old men living out their lives in a building that has changed around them. Their story does not concern the war or the economy, but here it is nonetheless.

Their building went up in 1889 as a rooming house for longshoremen who once plied the docks a short block to the west. It overlooks Pier 63 and sits around the corner from the old headquarters of the International Longshoremen's Association, whose onetime president, Joseph P. Ryan, was a model for the labor boss of "On the Waterfront."

There is not much interaction between the old men and the art on the second floor. It would seem that a chair made out of tape measures or a video installation of a young woman doing push-ups in a miniskirt are not much to their taste.

Ronald Sosinski, the gallery's director, said he saw the old men in "a coming-and-going sort of way" on the stairs and found them harmless, often full of humor. He opened the gallery in 2000 at a time, he said, that "everybody had to come to Chelsea; it was just not a question anymore."

Still, he seems to recognize the uniqueness of a building where the art he sells can cost 10 times what the tenants pay in rent.

"It's probably the only building like this around anymore," Mr. Sosinski said. "And it may be in its last moments, too."

The landlord is Alan Frank, who says he is content to have the men around. Mr. Frank presents himself as a lover of the old ways and charges his tenants the generous rate of $300 a month.

As landlords go, he is the sensitive sort.

"The cruel twist is that these guys were left here living among the yuppies and the galleries," he said. "All their haunts have disappeared. The coffee shop. The old Mexican restaurant. The little drugstore. I have a certain amount of sympathy for them living in an area that's not familiar to them anymore."

"In two or three more years, with attrition, they'll probably be gone," he says, adding that he has no plans to toss them out. "If I have nothing to do with it, I'll be happy."

As for the old ways, he, too, remembers the old bar on the first floor, a place named Catch 22 or Slavo's or Joey's, depending on whom you ask. Its nickname was "the Bucket of Blood," said Mr. Frank, suggesting that the stevedores and sailors who used to gather there often got out of hand.

The first time he set foot in the place, a sign on the bar reminded the patrons: "Management is not responsible for women left overnight." From the former owners, Mr. Frank said, there were tales of Thanksgiving dinners served to the salts upstairs at little or no cost.

It should be said that Mr. Ullrich, Mr. Zillard, Mr. Bolger, 62, and the elusive Kevin never worked on the docks. They are, respectively, two retired Teamsters, a firefighter and a military veteran, all lucky enough to have found cheap lodgings in rooms they secure with padlocks whenever they go out.

The rooms themselves are much as one might imagine, or worse. The furniture is spartan. The paint peels off the wall in continent-shaped flakes. An odor of cat urine hovers in the hall.

Each of the men arrived in his own way. Mr. Bolger's former home burned down. Mr. Zillard was a bachelor. Mr. Ullrich was drawn by the cheap rent. As for Kevin, his neighbors say he could not survive anywhere else.

Loneliness is often an old man's native state, and the halls here are filled with artificial voices: from the radio, the turntable, the television set. A decade ago, there were 20 tenants. Some moved out, some were asked to leave. Death has claimed the rest.

Mr. Zillard, 74, attributes his own longevity to drinking beer, never whiskey. He has outlived two generations of bartenders at his favorite haunt, Peter McManus Cafe, at 19th Street and Seventh Avenue.

As for the family life, he says he missed the boat. Thirty years ago he met a girl on the subway. Her name was Kathleen Clark. He got her name but not her address. He has been looking for her ever since.

"I got an icebox there I put my six packs in," he said. "That keeps me company enough."

"I'll probably die here," he went on, "waiting for them to paint."

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