Okay, as promised, herewith the best bits from the bottom of the lost box (that being the final [?] cache of my old photographs that I stashed into Manhattan Mini-Storage back in the early 00's) As I mentioned in that previous post, these are pics that never "made the cut" the first time around (i.e. that didn't get put into any of my photo albums in the era prior to "upgrading" to a digital camera). I'm putting them up now not because they're fantastic, brilliantly-composed photos (they're not), but because they showcase places and things that are simply no longer there. In that capacity, I find them captivating. Hopefully, you will too.
The shot above is one I snapped somewhere in the East Village. I couldn't give you the address or a backstory if you paid me, but I suppose I was just enchanted that someone would take the time to spell out "ROTGUT" on their front door.
Below is the former Laight Street exterior to Wetlands Preserve, a fabled rock club of the 1990s that, while initially a haven for the noodly jam band set, played host to a dizzying variety of music. Be you a burly skinhead, a goateed jazzbo, a bedenimed metalhead, a foppish indie anglophile or a hemp-huffing hippie, one of your favorite artists invariably played at Wetlands at one point or another. It closed, I believe, over "quality-of-life" infractions to the bloating residential community of TriBeCa (once an endearingly desolate backwater, now a hotbed of monied exclusivity). It's now an emporium of bespoke bedwear.
The shot below isn't the greatest, but this is the former facade of Coney Island High on St. Marks Place. From the looks of it, this was taken after the club had been shuttered (notice the Corcoran Group's "for lease" sign). Prior to Coney Island High, the space in question played host to Jesse Malin's GreendoorNYC parties (a weekly punky bacchanalia) before morphing into a two-storied club. If memory serves, I was fortunate enough to see bands like Firewater, The Damned, The Dandy Warhols, The Dickies, L.E.S. Stitches, The Dictators, The Pristeens, Nashville Pussy and a couple of Joey Ramone's annual birthday bills in Coney Island High's intimate staging area. Like Wetlands above, it too was singled out for "quality of life" infractions (I seem to remember a Village Voice cover story about it) and was shut down. It's now a noodle shop.
This is just a quick shot of a tribute to the fallen Dee Dee Ramone that was pasted up between CBGB and the entrance to litigious Muzzy Rosenblatt's Bowery Residents' Committee (the operation that forced CB's to close its doors). This was presumably snapped in 2002.
Below is a weathered flyer for a Firewater/Elysian Fields gig at the Bowery Ballroom in 1999 (and it was a great show) that was pasted up on the exterior to 295 Bowery (otherwise renowned as McGurk's Suicide Hall). 295 Bowery fell to the wrecking ball, and the space where it once stood is now a gleaming condo of glass and steel.
A selection of distressed flyers and street art from a doorway on Bleecker Street between Lafayette and Bowery. I inevitably took this out of my fandom for Missing Foundation.
The silhouetted figure is Andy from Route 66 Records at 99 MacDougal Street. This was the second incarnation of Route 66 (it was first located on a more westerly strip of Bleecker Street). Andy was a great (if entirely excitable) gent. The shop closed and became a variety of eateries in more recent years. Given the Bjork poster on the window (advertising SelmaSongs), I'm assuming this was taken circa 2000. Downstairs from Route 66 was the former home of 99 Records in the 1980s.
Below is the former community center on St. Mark's Place, also referred to as The Dom and the Electric Circus, I believe. If I'm not mistaken, the Velvet Underground performed an early gig there ... as did, er... Billy Joel in the video for "A Matter of Trust." It was later gutted and is now plays host to a Chipotle, a grocery store and was fleetingly home to a CBGB-merchandise outlet that failed. To its left, pricey punk emporium Search & Destroy is still there.
This is, of course, the Astor Place cube. That's still there, of course, but I was struck by this particular photo in that it shows the former Cooper Union classroom building behind it. Notice how comparatively squat and humble it is compared to the monstrous black, sky-obscuring Death Star that currently sits there.
Here's a shot taken from Washington Square Park looking south down Laguardia Place. That is, of course, the World Trade Center in the background. There are more than enough images of the fallen towers out there, but I was struck by this shot as it shows the former NYU center on the right (again.... endearingly humble and low compared to the building that's since been erected in the same spot). During a New Music Seminar event at some point in the very early 90's, I witnessed hip-hop/rock fusionists Urban Dance Squad perform in that space. Likewise, G.G. Allin once performed there (which, in hindsight, is nigh on unbelievable). You can see footage of that event in the endearingly disturbing documentary, "Hated."
Yep....time for a gratuitous shot of a disarmingly tidy-looking CBGB. It sounds like a cliche now, but even when it was open and operational, it was hard to walk by CB's with a camera without feeling the need to capture it. I took piles of photos of it (my favorite probably being the one Bryan K. borrowed for his recent post on the venue). This particular shot isn't especially consequential, but here it is anyway.
Lastly, here's a second, parting shot of the ol' Cedar. Love it.