...with apologies to Abbot & Costello.
Yesterday, our good friend and longtime fellow anachronistic bloggity-blogger EV Grieve posted an update on the status of the northeast corner of St. Marks Place at Third Avenue. Many might remember the news from about a year back that a large segment of that block -– including spaces fomerly or currently occupied by concerns like McDonald’s, the Continental, Korilla (formerly about nine other things since its storied iteration as St. Marks Pizza, above, as caught by Matt Weber in 1985), that corner news-agents/smoke shop, the since-shuttered Papaya King, among others -– would be razed to accommodate a new, seven-story tower of office space, because -- yeah, wait for it -– we needed that.
Well, plans for same, at the moment, seem squishy (see Grieve’s post for details), although most of the businesses on that plot have already closed up shop. The McDonald’s has been gone for a while, pushed out not just by this plan, but also the advent of the ever-aromatic/pungent (depending on your opinion) Shake Shack across the avenue. The Continental seems to have received a stay of execution, for the moment, although, if I’m being honest, I haven’t set foot in that particular joint since they dismantled the rear stage and stopped hosting live music.
As laboriously lamented in this old post, I was lucky enough to regularly witness a slew of suitably slovenly bands grace the stage at The Continental back throughout the 90’s, some notable high-decibel culprits being the legitimately incendiary Nashville Pussy (above), The Unband (below), The Upper Crust, The Lee Harvey Keitel Band, The Bullys, The Pleasure Fuckers, Furious George and the Candy Snatchers.
The loss of St. Marks Pizza was also worthy of its own post, which I thought I’d done, but evidently not. Or, if I did, I can’t find it anymore. In any case, it closed in 2003, and the neighborhood was pointedly the lesser for it. I also remember their slices being way better than those prized at more rhapsodized pizzerias like Stromboli's two blocks to the east.
I also strangley spent a week living in that eyesore of a dormintory right next to the old McDonald’s back in 1993, which I spoke about in this ancient post. The building hasn’t aged well, but it’s still standing … despite what many of the architecture students who lived inside it, at the time, were predicting.
In any event, regardless of what’s to transpire for ths busy plot of the East Village, it already seems somewhat undead. That said, I’m sure I’ll pine for this decrepit iteration of it once the new buildings start going up.
When I think of that particular strip, I invariably think of going to those live shows at the Continental. Herewith a smattering of that era, replete with live footage captured in that venue.