The Post takes a look at the new David Barton gym on Astor Place.
Throughout the day, a Ramones- and Bowie-filled soundtrack supports Barton's notion that his swanky $5 million gym will reflect the East Village's trademark punk and glam-rock spirit.
Indeed, the whole city's suddenly a nightclub. Not to be outdone, a huge trilevel Crunch half a block south of Barton's new gym offers an ear-splitting Tuesday-night deejay party and has a counter serving protein shakes and $4-plus iced coffees. There's also a Midtown Equinox, housing a deli-style takeout kitchen, and Rockefeller Center's Sports Club/LA, which has a sit-down restaurant, a bar and a sidewalk café.
"The mainstream offering doesn't cut it for some people anymore," says Barton.
And it isn't just gyms. Local entrepreneurs are giving Manhattan what it wants -- and Manhattan apparently wants everything in one place.
So what's the deal with this town? Is it an addiction to luxury -- or just ADD? According to Barton, it's all about choices.
"There are a lot of different people around and different gyms to service them," he says. Locals who complained about the closing of the enormous Barnes & Noble formerly occupying this space might note: While a bookstore is very East Village in theory, a 700-plus-store national chain that displaces ma and pa bookstores is not.
"You don't even shop in stores anymore," says Barton, suggesting online retailers that are hurting bookstores have made gyms "the new town square."
The downside for old-school New Yorkers is that such things tend to come off a little more new Times Square. Perhaps those of us wishing to exercise to the beat of our own drum, or bowl with the lights on, should consider moving to Arkansas? Fat chance. The sushi there sucks -- and just try getting it delivered after midnight.
For further reading:
No pecs, no sex (Jeremiah's Vanishing NY)