Showing posts with label Times Square. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Times Square. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A vision of Times Square's future in 1986

EV Grieve reader Sarah passed along these scans from a spring 1986 issue of Psychotronic, the B-movie magazine ...

(The images are actually connected, but we couldn't make that work as well here...)

The first image is a nightmare vision of the "future" Times Square, which, as Sarah notes, is exactly how the actual Times Square turned out ...

and a photo of the St. Marks Cinema as it was nearing the end of its run...

For more on the St. Marks Cinema on Second Avenue at St. Mark's Place, go here.


Thanks to EV Grieve reader Beatrice the Cat for splicing these images together for us...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cindy gets herself worked up real good about the new pedestrian Times Square

With apologies to everyone from Whitefish, Mont., I'm sure. And why now finally? Did she just notice?

[C]ould someone please kindly tell me what the frig is happening in Times Square? Why in the middle of what is Earth's most famous urban tourist attraction -- aside from possibly seeing Brad Pitt's boxers -- are people now lying around on cheapo, crappo, junko lawn chairs?

I'm told our Department of Transportation commissioner is a very nice lady. Good to her family, donates to charity, works for the care and feeding of aging, homeless manicurists. Has a lovely-sounding hyphenated name, Janette Sadik-Khan, but . . . I mean, turning Broadway into Rockaway?

The hallway to the Street of Dreams is now Beach 34th Street? What's next? Sand? A boardwalk?

Wide-eyed tourists with cameras come from all over the planet to see the sights, look at the lights, feel the excitement, sense the thrill. To know the noise, the signs, the din, the hubbub, the action, the life. To tell their friends back home in Whitefish, Mont., or downtown Albania that they've actually, personally seen the buzz, the busyness, the traffic, the organized hysteria that is no place else in the universe but Times Square.

Now they see what? Sprawling, bused-in out-of-towners with Coke cans and brown paper bags flat out on camp chairs noshing and burping and snoozing and playing checkers in the center of the capital of the world.

Here's the whole shebang.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yes, yes and yes

Susan Dominus on the mallification of Times Square in the Times today:

But right now, the pedestrian mall, it must be said, looks a little unworthy of New York.


Or maybe the problem is not the quality of the seats. Maybe the problem is all the people sitting in them. New York is a city of walkers, not sitters; a city of motion, not repose.


Sitting beside Ms. Mia, I was starting to rethink my impression of the pedestrian mall, appreciating some of its merits, messy though they may be. But only for a minute.

“I just really like it here,” she said. “I find it strangely peaceful.”

We’ve come to accept the multitudes of adjectives that rotate in and out of use for Times Square depending on the era: gritty, dangerous, commercial, touristy, kitschy, overpriced, overcrowded, flashy, tacky, corporate. But peaceful?

That’s just wrong.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This seems perfectly safe!

According to the description on YouTube: Red Bull Racing NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and his pit crew perform a full pit stop in the middle of Times Square.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The World of DVD is closing: So how many adult shops are left on Eighth Avenue?

Walking up to the Times building on Eighth Avenue...across from the Port Authority...

I notice the World of DVD, located on Eighth Avenue just below 40th Street, is going out of business. (Technically, it's going out for business.)

I go inside to check the sales. The usual stuff -- with a dash of crapola B movies upfront (who knew John Cena was in so many films?) to make it seem a teensy legit. The "buddy booths" are upstairs, where two men are standing, waiting for something. Nothing much doing. They barely glance my way. Another man stands in the back. He's holding a mop. The row of booth-style peeps are empty.

How the shop looked a few years back...

So yeah, it's very old news that the XXX joints of Times Square past — the Major Midtown Wanton Hussy Belt is my favorite description of previous eras — are gone, replaced by the corporate sheen of multiplexes and chain stores. Still, a touch of the seedy element remains. But what is left? I continue north on Eighth Avenue. There's the Show World Center there on the right, featuring DVDs, lingerie, toys and booths. It survives for now.

Then there's Gotham City, which sits next to the Lace Gentlemen's Club between 43rd Street and 44th Street.

Signs promise "live fantasy girls." On the second floor. I take a look. I figure they're old signs from the glory days. Uh, well, no. On the third floor, three women sit in front of peep booths. One of them may have been a man. Though probably not. The woman closest to the stairs gives me the rundown: "$30 for a strip show and $40 for a masturbation show." She ends her sales pitch by saying, "You can totally masturbate!"


Moving along...

The infamous Playpen was an adult-oriented mecca along the southwest side of Eighth Avenue and 44th Street. That whole parcel came down in late 2007 to make way for whatever blandness the Tishman Realty Corporation has in mind.

And as Jeremiah noted, the northwest corner of 44th Street and Eighth Avenue is ready for demolition...the building housed two adult DVD stores...(one of the stores moved to 37th Street and Sixth Avenue.)

Then, apparently, there is another Gotham City on Eighth Avenue, this one between 47th Street and 48th Street. This store also promises "live fantasy girls." On the second floor. The booths are in the back. You can pretend to browse for lingerie in the front section of the floor. One woman is on duty near the booths yesterday for the post 9-to-5 crowd. She looks at me, and makes a hissing noise. "Tssssssssssssst." And motions for me. I wave and head back down the stairs, pretending to look at a thong first.

So. On Eighth Avenue between 40th Street and 50th Street, I saw the following:

Three stores that sell DVDs and toys. They feature viewing booths.
Two stores with "live girls."
One gentlemen's club.

OK, six...

There are also three adult DVD stores on 40th Street between Seventh Avenue and Ninth Avenue.
Cheetahs Gentlemen's Club is on 43rd Street between Eighth Avenue and Seventh Avenue.
Private Eyes Gentlemen's Club is just west of Eighth Avenue on 45th Street, next to the Al Hirschfield Theatre.
I'm sure there are other adult-theme stores in the immediate vicinity. This is simply what I see on this trip.

According to the Times, there were 96 sex-oriented sex shops on Times Square in 1977; down to 35 in 1987.

In any event, I see more of the winker-feeler-groper-looker set in other areas of Times Square, the sparkly new part with the chain stores and big window displays, such as this one on 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue...

For further reading:
Questionable prostitution charges at 8th Ave. porn shops (Chelsea Now)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy "Gang Initiation Day"

"A violent Easter ritual has Times Square businesses beefing up security as they brace for a surge in post-Auto Show gang activity this weekend. Easter Sunday -- which has become known as "Gang Initiation Day" because of the parade of hoods wearing Bloods colors who swarm the area -- has scared tourists and store owners alike." (New York Post)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hell yeah, it's HoJo's

Thanks to reader/frequent commenter Mick for passing along the url to HoJoLand, a comprehensive Web site devoted to the history of Howard Johnson's. The last HoJo's closed on Times Square on July 9, 2005 (first photo below). As HoJoLand points out, there were 10 HoJo's in Manhattan at one point... this one on 53rd and Lexington...

...uh, somewhere on Broadway...

and at 1551 Broadway...'ll find the world's largest repository on the last HoJo's in the city on the site...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life goes to Times Square

Thanks to frequent EV Grieve commenter Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk, author of "Times Queer," for passing along a link to a treasure trove of photos from Life magazine showing Times Square from 1950... 1986...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More on the Hotel Carter

(Photo by Jeffrey Docherty)

A few weeks back I did that post on the Hotel Carter being named the dirtiest hotel in America by TripAdvisor. This past Wednesday, Curbed had the goods on blogger Mike Barish, who spent a few hours there to see how bad it really is. He filed this must-read report:

So, is the Hotel Carter the dirtiest hotel in the United States? Not from what I could see. It's unkempt. It needs major renovations including new paint, carpeting, and lighting in both the rooms and the hallways. The bathroom tiles need to be completely replaced along with the vents. But overall, it's just not that disgusting.

However, it is the single most depressing hotel I have ever been in. In fact, it may be the bleakest place I have ever been. Period. The whole environment is joyless. The wan lighting wears on you after a while. It just makes you sad. The uninterrupted white walls offer no stimuli to keep your mind focused on anything other than the sadness of the room. If there was a sequel to The Shining about a hotel that made you despondent instead of insane, it would be filmed at the Hotel Carter.

Which brings me to today. A press release came through the transom from UrbanMaidGreen, an eco-friendly cleaning service on Union Square. They're offering "a cleaning to any couple spending their Valentine's Day in the infamous Hotel Carter." And. "We will send our staff to clean your room for free on Valentine's Day, to help get you out of the doghouse from your significant other."

Well, OK. Unlikely, but. Anyway, as Barish wrote, no guests are allowed at the Carter. Which means, presumably, no outside cleaning crews. Or hookers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sure, the Hotel Carter may be the dirtiest hotel in America, but it sure is photogenic!

Been meaning to pay a visit to the Hotel Carter on West 43rd Street in Times Square. Yesterday, Gothamist had the roundup on the Carter being named the filthiest hotel in America by the voters at TripAdvisor. Woo-hoo! You're No. 1! So what seems to be the problem(s)? Ah, the usual. Rats. Mold. Dust. Dangerous electrical outlets. Dead bodies. That kind of thing!

So why do I want to pay the Carter a visit? The photo opportunities! Just look at some of the shots I found by typing in "Hotel Carter" on Flickr...(And check out Ken Mac's post on the Carter at Greenwich Village Daily Photo.)

(Photo by fantaz)

(Photo by Bob Jagendorf)

(Photo by 24gotham)

(Photo by Strange Red)

(Photo by Jeffrey Docherty)

Anyway, how bad could it be?

Previously on EV Grieve:
Checking out the Vigilant Hotel: "Perfect for the bored with responsibilities of maintaining a traceable address"

Elk in the City

At the Hotel Edison: An appreciation

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pussy Galore in Times Square

Recent Times Square in the 1970s/1980s/1990s posts by Alex at Flaming Pablum and Ken at Greenwich Village Daily Photo prompted me to dig out one of my favorite records, Pussy Galore's "Corpse Love." The CD sleeve includes each of the five band members standing in front of an appropriate marquee on 42nd Street. Only included the shots of Messrs. Hagerty and Spencer here...

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Where are all those wonderful folks now?"

From Page Six yesterday:

Eric Bogosian misses the dangerous and dirty old Times Square. In the monologist's upcoming novel, "Perforated Heart," his hero describes walking along the new "Deuce" between Seventh and Eighth avenues and being "jostled by tourists munching kosher hot dogs, their souvenir Playbills clenched in pale Midwestern fists . . . [taking] pictures of each other." He continues: "Thirty years ago, these same darkened doorways framed girls who chanted, 'Wanna go out?' 'Wanna party?' Prostitutes, drug dealers, pickpockets. Where are those wonderful folks now? Grown old. At home with their grandkids, or in drug rehab or in prison or pushing up daisies." The book hits stores next spring.

[Photo by Flo Fox via The Villager]

Monday, November 24, 2008


From the wire:

NY public toilets feature TVs, tuxedoed attendants

NEW YORK (AP) -- What a relief! The free public restrooms operated by the Charmin toilet paper company in Times Square during the holidays are being rolled out for another year.

It's the third straight year for the 20 deluxe stalls.

The plush potties feature flat-screen televisions, attendants dressed in tuxedos and plenty of Charmin.

The loos are so luxurious that Charmin promises Times Square tourists will feel like kings sitting on their thrones before making their royal flushes.

The toilets are being inaugurated Monday with a ceremonial first flush by pop singer and Broadway star Joey Fatone.

They'll be open every day through the end of the year except Christmas Day. For the first time they'll be open on New Year's Eve for the crowd watching the 2009 ball drop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Public "Enemy"

How long will Christian Slater continue to haunt Times Square now that his show was canceled last week?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lucky Cheng's leaving the East Village for the wilds of Times Square

News from GNML via Eater.

As Down by the Hipster notes: "We are also happy that it will be bringing its legions of tourists and bachelorette parties with them. Walking past the restaurant on a weekend night is like walking through a gauntlet of cheese. You know what we mean. You know."

Thanks for the memories!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lehman Brothers at night

Looks rather peaceful.

[Via Nickingle on YouTube]

"So on Monday we'll get to see what the failure of an investment bank with $600 billion in assets looks like." (

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

At the Hotel Edison: An appreciation

Whenever we start reading about old-school joints such as Frankie and Johnnie's facing the wrecking ball, it makes us appreciate the city's remaining institutions even more. Places such as the Hotel Edison and its diner, Cafe Edison (you know, the Polish Tea Room) that Neil Simon and other Broadway types would frequent for its blintzes, borscht and goulash. The hotel, on West 47th Street next to the W smack in the middle of Times Square, was built in 1931, as its Web site trumpets, "in the same grand Art Deco style as Radio City Music Hall." Anecdotes abound about the Edison, like whether the scene in which Luca Brasi gets rubbed out in The Godfather was filmed here...or the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights. Whatever. No matter how dusty around the corners this place is, it remains a treasure from the past.

I have a few more photos on my Flickr page.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A music video takes us back to 1985 Times Square (didn't want to say a Sade music video because then you may not watch...)

Thanks to reader Eric E. for bringing this music video to my attention (via the previous post)...

Just stumbled upon this music video by Sade, Is It a Crime -- it has shots of the 80's Big yellow taxi cab cruising in the old Times Square, and a shot of the Show Palace Theatre and Show World Center on 42nd street and 8th avenue at the the 40 sec. mark. Enjoy.

We have been enjoying! The only downside...Well, aside from being Sade (sorry), the song lasts like seven years. The good cab stuff happens in the first few minutes, though.

As Eric E. said, Enjoy.