EV Grieve penned an innocent little update today about the status of the long-dormant former site of Tower Records on the corner of 4th & Broadway (an establishment wherein I spent vast amounts of time and dubiously-earned income, back in the day). The space is now going to be used as some sort of professional sports promotion wherein two slackjawed jocks get paid to sit around and watch baseball games all day. In any case, in response to Grieve's post, a very defensive reader named “5th Gen” launched into a windy, multi-paragraph screed, railing about the perceived tone of the piece, defending baseball as a national pastime, making a sniffily dismissive comment about the Ramones, getting uppity about being perceived as a well-heeled yuppie because he wears a blazer and lambasting the fact that the neighborhood is still saddled with a counterculture stereotype of the tattooed & leather-jacket-clad punk rocker. It’s quite a rant.
Personally speaking, I only wish there was still a credible whiff of the very atmosphere 5th Gen evidently hates so much left in the neighborhood, but the truth of the matter is that it just isn't really there anymore. Downtown stopped exuding that particular vibe quite some time ago. More to the point, though, it’s not like Tower Records was really some artsy bastion of bohemia. Sure, I bought unwieldy piles of punk vinyl there, but it was just as much of a corporate operation as the venture that’s opening there now. That all said, I'll take a record store over anything sports-related every. damn. time. Doesn't dumb jock culture have enough of a stranglehold on society?
About five minutes after I left my own snarky comment on the thread (pedantically pointing out that the Ramones wore leather jackets and were avid baseball fans), I came across the below trailer for “Blank City,” yet another film that seeks to blow the cobwebs off/further lionize the CBGB generation (as if it was somehow in dire peril of not being lionized?) Being that I'm perfectly at peace with being an unapologetic nostalgist and avowed fan of all things NYC Punk, I’m quite curious to check it out, but it seems like precisely the type of document that would get 5th Gen further bent out of shape. Well, too bad for you, Gen. Downtown may have become gentrified beyond all recognition from its admittedly-over-rhapsodized late 70s/early 80s incarnation.... but don't expect the ghosts of that period of the East Village to disappear anytime soon. No "critical urban design theory" is about to outweigh the fact that people still care about their impact, no matter how much you'd love to write it off.
Find out more about the film by clicking right here!