Friday, May 2, 2008

No Pecs, No Sex

It's official: Astor Place has traded books for bods. As speculated, the former Barnes & Noble will be a David Barton gym.



Sure, it was a giant chain bookstore--but it does sum up a shift in values, doesn't it? In this one photo we see how much Astor Place has changed very, very recently: The giant luxury condo tower, the glass-box newsstand smothered in billboards, the Starbucks reflected in the glass, and now David Barton and what Michael Musto called "body fascism" in his write-up of a Barton opening where scantily clad boys wore Barton's advertising slogans written on their bare bodies.

We are a city of mirrors within mirrors. Surfaces reflecting onto other surfaces. What depth will be left when all is glass?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

class war needs buff soldiers. and soldiers fight better when they don't read.

L'Emmerdeur said...

You know what would be awesome in that space? A ?Barton Fink gym.

Jeremiah Moss said...

a barton fink gym! i love just trying to picture such a thing.

Anonymous said...

I've seen David Barton on the street. Am curious as to what he will look like when older, say 50 or 60. Lived in a building where many tenants were obsessed with jogging. Many now require crutches due to damage done. That's the bitch about vanity; it's a double edge sword. Imagine a city of aging Yunnies, working out, clinging to the generous visions of youth. That, golden children, constitutes a delusional citizenry.

BaHa said...

While I am sad to see any bookstore close, there is something just a little delicious in St. Mark's Bookshop surviving the Barnes & Noble that nearly put it out of business.

EV Grieve said...

Hmm. Despite being a big chain, that Kmart seems awfully low-brow and out of place now for that neighborhood. Can't we get some really over-priced store for that spot?
But seriously...
You know, I'm not in good enough shape to join a David Barton Gym. Drat!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Eliot Spitzer work out in a David Barton gym?

Anonymous said...

just in case you haven't noticed yet- the dept. of buildings has closed the hostel on 7th street. the sign says something about imminent danger to life. i saw some people in there this morning who didn't look like they were in a hurry to leave.

Be said...

Does anyone else think it's odd that a gym known for gay crusing is opening up directly next door to the city's only all gay public high school? Seem like a lawsuit waiting to happen, with the jailbait nearby.

Also, I loved your final three sentences. THey articulated what I have been feeling for some time now.

Fran said...

"Be" trust me, David barton members are interested in muscle, not jail bait. No risk there. Although, there is a slight tone of gay panic to your post. What's up with that?

I am no fan of David Barton or his gyms. However, I'm glad to see that the space is being used by a successful LOCAL business (20+ years) and not some soulless national chain, drugstore or bank.

Would the readers of this blog prefer a Best Buy?

Anonymous said...

I am happy this is opening right near my apartment. David Barton and his wife Suzanne Bartsch are both true New Yorkers who are a part of the city's gay and nightlife history.