Hopefully she’s not reading this blog right now, but we’re going to a surprise party, this evening, for a friend at Automatic Slim’s in the West Village. I did a double-take when my wife told me where we were headed. While not quite “regulars,” myself and a select coterie of like-minded idiots used to frequently darken the doors of this establishment throughout the 90’s, although I cannot say I’ve been since the dawn of the new millennium. I snapped the photo of its signature corner-occupying entry way (with a great, big, fuck-off wide-angle lens) in about 1998, or so.
Evidently, they serve food at Automatic Slims, which is something that never occurred to me, as my associations with the place inexorably involve heroic amounts of ill-advised beverages, and precious little else. In fact, I want to say the last time I was in the place, I was forced to imbibe a veritable flotilla of shots by my friends Rob B. & Rob C., only to ascend from my seat some twenty minutes later, and wordlessly exit the establishment without notifying any of my compatriots. Somehow I made it home, only to throw up with a robust sense of purpose. Yeah, that was lovely. One assumes this evening will be slightly different.
My other pervading memory of nights at Automatic Slim’s involves some framed prints of Iggy and the Stooges and the New York Dolls that were hung about its walls, at some point, in the late 90’s. The magnificence of same had myself and my friend Rob D. drunkenly conspiring to somehow make-off with one of them whilst the barkeep was distracted. In a rare moment of wisdom, we demurred from this half-baked endeavor, but it was not as stealthy an instant of clear, common sense and considerate good-will as it should have been. He and I had a similar quandary regarding a framed Ramones photograph at (long-since-vanished) Wowsville on Second Avenue about year later (you can read that tragic saga here).
In any case, the purpose of this post was not to extoll my inebriated exploits of yore. Upon reminiscing about the place, I was reminded of the photo I took up top, which led my back to my long-dormant Flickr page, which has many of my old-timey NYC pics preserved like a disgruntled mosquito in a block of amber. Click here and step back into locales, establishments and neighborhoods that are nor barely recognizable and, if possible, enjoy.
Report on Automatic Slim’s 2018 to follow, … maybe.
ADDENDUM: As expected, the Iggy/Dolls pics are long gone, but it's still a very cool place. Great time was had by all..