upper east side bars 1980s

Poets ruled the evening Tim Dlugos, still a few years from writing his haunting G-9 poem about an AIDS ward, was Bernadette of Lourdes. Somebody might have called during the night to say they might have job opportunities, so you always checked your machine. It was nothing but rejection. These are the moments, large and small, recounted by 36 writers, artists, fashion designers, musicians and more who lived in New York City in the early 80s. Write a Review! We blasted Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson. It was established, owned by and named after Elaine Kaufman, who was indelibly associated with the restaurant; Elaine's shut down several months after Kaufman died. Photograph courtesy of Charlie Ahearn, whose groundbreaking hip-hop feature film Wild Style (1983) featured Grandmaster Flash, Lee Quiones and Fab 5 Freddy, among others. At Elaines, for instance, you would find people Elaine was floating. It made me immobile. Thurston Moore would take me to see hardcore groups like Black Flag. There was a thing I did every Friday night because my boyfriend [now husband, artist Carroll Dunham] worked at Time magazine, so I wasnt out looking for guys. But where was the battlefield? We said we were artists, and artists make art. And they said, Yeah, you can have that they werent even thinking about it. The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 is sometimes used as a marker of the beginning of the end of the art world as it was then known, as if the two were somehow related, as if an election ushered in some new aesthetic permission, a new vulgarity, which is really a kind of negative magical thinking. Michael Gira, the frontman of the band Swans, was on the [first] cover. Youd have Chinese opera and then some kind of Russian circus act and then a punk band and then a drag queen. Points of interest include Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, The Whitney Museum, Hunter College, Gracie Mansion and Carl Schurz Park. Im a child of the Midwestern upper-middle class. The sidewalks along St. Marks over to Astor Place were just as lively they were a sort of souk where you could buy back what the junkies had stolen from your apartment. He had two responses: Pretty good, was high, high praise. When AIDS hit, the lines were drawn: You were either straight or gay. Its basically the most conscious, relatable record. I would get back home [from school] at a decent hour, four in the afternoon. A group of artists, friends and a few colleagues, including Marcia Tucker, the founder of the New Museum, demolished what remained of a former meatpacking company and converted it into JAMs new space. Learn more about historic floods. These places were used largely by working-class men, white, black and Latino, people who thought of themselves as straight and gay, many of whom were amenable to sexual things. Brandy's Piano Bar 68 Bars & Clubs Gay Bars Upper East Side Open now The robust economy powered unfathomable riches into New York's in the late 90s: In SoHo restaurants, Madison Avenue boutiques, and East Side real-estate offices, no price is too high for the lords . So I flipped on the light and said, Good Morning! Peter was so self-possessed and dignified, I never, ever thought of him as poor, even though he had no money. I started spending a third of my time there. Pierre Francillon and Richard Alvarez, both artists and friends of fashion designer Andre Walker, in 1983 at the Middle Collegiate Church, where Walker held a fashion show. Or worse. Beware salivating yuppie swells there for Ladies Night, the magazine wrote (fondly) of Mannys Car Wash, a Chicago-style blues club on East 87th Street. And the rest of us were kinda like, Oh man, what? Home; . There was a popular Puerto Rican dance club, Ochentas, and across the street from that was an Afro-Cuban spot, Club Broadway. Tuesday Trivia. Once he came in and told us that something his wife had written was in error and she replied, Jimmy, you wrote your book. The apartment, at 1060 Fifth Avenue, at 87th Street, was like a fantasy apartment huge, with a view of the reservoir. I will never forget the day, because I didnt tell my mother and father that I was going to make a record. This kind of activity is highly socially ordered: You dont barge in on other people, thats all part of it. The Upper West Side has always been a great place to buy food, with terrific places for fish and vegetables. We also created a percussive orchestra that was all pots and pans and a lot of racket, and that was the debut of the band Pulsallama. Cramped beer and shot joints with names like the Blue Moon, Czar Bar, and Richters were all vying for the attention of this influx of recently graduated young adults who wanted to go out, but had little money to do so. It was almost a surreal experience, because I had the feeling that this person is only vaguely here. If they didnt give us any food, wed go off to the next person. Everywhere else it was club kids and b-boys with foxtails hanging from their clothes; I had the shoulder pads and the spiky hair and all that. My apartment was four stories up, and I got a place on the floor below for Kim Gordon. By 1968, 85 bars called the neighborhood home, like Gleason's, slightly further uptown near Yorkville, and similarly decorated to Friday's, with Tiffany lamps and the ornate wooden bar that had graced the Schaefer Beer pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair. It was chaired by Brendan Gill, a great theater critic and architecture writer. They were sort of an island unto themselves, and then you went across the park and you had the Pyramid Club and everything else was bars until you got to the Mudd Club way downtown. Two editors at Simon & Schuster thought it was terrific, but they said, You have to produce this yourself, and we can possibly get you a distribution deal. 1567 2nd Ave, New York, NY Le Relais, on Madison and 63rd, was more everyone my age and everyone from Europe. The Roxy was on Fridays, when the party was Wheels of Steel, which initially started at Negril in the East Village. Id get to the gallery late afternoon. The painter David Salle in his Manhattan studio, 1983. On July 11, the guests included novelists Harold Brodkey, Mona Simpson, Richard Price and Scott Sommer (who might be better known if he hadnt died at 42). By my late teens, people used to tell me, You and you sister, its like its your job to go clubbing. Maybe five nights a week Id leave Brooklyn around 8:30 or 9 oclock. Jimmy Carters reputation was tarnished by the hostage crisis in Iran, and I feared that perhaps Norman Mailer, an Elaines regular, or some very politically active and argumentative individual, might stop by our table to express some unfavorable comments. And why I got out.. He goes, What the hell are you doing to my theater? Many of the bars of this era were, in fact, themed, and sometimes cheesily so. You would have Rock Steady Crew and Zulu Nation on one side of the room, and this notorious gang called the Ball Busters on the other. Or with only a few comments in between. A few blocks away was the Ninth Street Bakery. In the lot there are three vehicles. There was likewise Brother Jimmys, a Southern BBQ joint that served overproof punch out of rubber garbage pails. Anyone can read what you share. He was like the Jimmy Fallon or Trevor Noah of that era. At that time, Chelsea was unexplored territory. I was eating very healthfully, which wasnt easy then, seeking out the few macrobiotic restaurants there were. She was very busy editing books of her own, among them Jane Fondas Workout Book, Thomas Keneallys Schindlers List, Margaret Atwoods Bluebeards Egg and Rosalynn Carters memoir First Lady From Plains. At one point Nan traveled to the Carters home in Plains, Georgia, an ordinary split-level with an imperial iron fence that had been Richard Nixons from Key Biscayne (the Carters didnt believe in waste). Despite the lack of a cabaret license, DJ Mike would spin soon-to-be-classics of the moment like Salt-N-Pepas Lets Talk About Sex and Color Me Badds I Wanna Sex You Up, while everyone danced. People would bring me their videos to pop in. But as soon as we walked in, nearly everyone stood and applauded. CBGB was just up the street, and I performed there with my band or as a solo poet many times. I was preparing that summer to start my first semester at St. Johns University. Youd walk in there and all the actors would be sitting around, it was almost like a club, and youd see all these people: Danny Aiello, Warren Beatty. I was one of the champions of the golden age of promiscuity, though that all ended with AIDS. Although it didn't hold up against Chili's, TGI Fridays, and Applebee's, there was a time when it was fairly ubiquitous throughout the states. If we werent in a group, I would walk over the bridge, because money was scarce and I wanted to have a token to go back out the next night. Boozy, drug-fueled parties that lasted until dawn. It was really like a combination of living theater and installation art, very communal. He wasnt exactly made of money, though he fished through a bucket of change every morning to buy his one meal of the day, a bagel but Block claims this was a time when it didnt cost a ton to open and run a bar in Manhattan. I went from area to area of the performance space, onstage and offstage. It's just happening. Madison Pub was an indispensable local dive. I suppose I should have loved New York; things were very good for me. There were very few artists there. Having had an alcoholic mother, he did not like being around people who drank much. And then eventually some surface decoration with tucks and treatment Id take the fabric and just sew in any direction. It was still a sort of wild west that far uptown, and the facility was quickly dubbed Dormandie Court for the raucous, college-like atmosphere it had created and then fostered. I knew running back up the stairs was a bad idea. A guy in a black cocktail dress teetering precariously on the sill of an open window in a rear apartment (Room 410) of the Chelsea Hotel, screaming into the night. . If it was a Thursday, Id be rushing to get all my work done, because that was the night I went dancing. During the day, Id get my paints at Canal Hardware or Pearl Paint. At night, if you headed south through long dark blocks to the meatpacking district, there were clubs and leather bars. Wed spend hours getting our outfits together buying stuff at Canal Plastics Center, stapling photo booth pictures onto our jackets. I decided to start a music fanzine around 82; I called it Killer. When Todd wasnt looking, Id be running off copies and stapling them together. The venues didn't matter to me. [1] There was an interest beyond becoming ladies who lunch. Everyone talks about the 1970s as being the birth of feminism, but for me, the 80s were really about feminism in practical use. Soon there was an all-out war being waged for putting butts on barstools, and in these days before the internet, the bars would advertise their increasingly outrageous specials in the Village Voice and free local fliers sloppily stacked at the entrance to ATM banks, while hoping for write-ups in New York Magazines weekly goings-on section. I knew people who were dying as early as 79, and three months later their partners were dead, so by 1981 I had a clear picture, even if it hadnt fully sunk in, and it was an incredible life changer. By the time midnight came around and I knew my parents were sleeping, I would sneak out the window down onto the porch.

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