I've been posting a lot of pictures lately of since-vanished places around NYC. Granted, I do this a lot. In any case, here's a clutch of photos of spots that had either already pulled up stakes and called it a day or were in the process of imploding when I happened to walk by them with my camera.
This was the Westbeth Theater in the West Village. I saw a few great, intimate shows here by artists like Julian Cope, Gavin Friday and the mighty Skeleton Key. For some reason, they closed up shop at this location (although the organization still exists in some other capacity). Here's the former entrance....all bricked up at some point in the mid-2000s.
This was what remained of Sal's Pizza on Avenue A before an upscale makeover.
This was the corner of East 13th and Fifth Avenue. Originally, I believe it was a lavish Schraft's ice cream parlor, but as far back as I can remember, it was the Lone Star (with the big iguana on the roof). Then it became something else. In the `90s, it was a bar called Mr. Fuji's Tropicana (my friend Rob dated one of its bartenders, who lived in a basement level studio apartment on Bleecker Street with no windows). After that, it became an ill-fated deli (a good place to go if you wanted runny, "frambled" eggs). Then it closed and sat dormant. Then it was torn down. Now, it' s in the process of becoming a luxury high-rise.
This was a tiny, humble Italian restaurant the wife and I quite liked in the West Village called Valdino West. Nothing fancy. Not sure what stands in its footprint today.
On the Upper West Side, here's where the iconic P&G Bar & Grill once held court. That's me looking portly in the foreground, beneath the corner where it's signature neon once was.
I can't say I ever set foot in the place to my knowledge (although maybe when I was a kid), but here's the old New York Doll Hospital on Lexington Avenue. This spot is significant to slackjawed rock dorks like myself, as it's the business that inspired a certain band to name themselves the New York Dolls (guitarist Sylvain Sylvain worked in a shop across the avenue). I believe this space is still vacant, but I could be wrong.
Here's the front of the old Hog Pit on 9the Avenue in the Meat Packing District, which was an old favorite haunt of mine in the `90s. After this it moved to 26th street, but I've never been to the new place. Back in the Hog Pit's heyday, the Meat Packing District was an endearingly squalid backwater. I greatly preferred it that way. What was once the Hog Pit is now a chain restaurant of one kind or another. Read more about the ol' Hog Pit here.
Here's my little Charlotte, a few of years back, standing in front of what had been Subterranean Records on Cornelia Street. There's still nothing there today.
Finally -- you knew this was coming -- here's me in front of what was CBGB and is now the John Varvatos emporium of ridculousness.