This week, the Times revealed Danny Meyer's plans to cover the globe with Shake Shacks, what they call "the Shacking of America" and beyond. One of those Shake Shacks is going on the southwest corner of 44th and 8th, in the still-rising Intercontinental Hotel, as Eater points out.
What that means is that a Shake Shack will stand where once was The Playpen (and the Funny Store).
More Playpen photos here
The Playpen was a Times Square landmark--a center for smut and a former vaudeville house dating back to 1916. When its execution was announced, a committee to save The Playpen formed, citing the theater's "ornate brasswork around the windows, a cameo depicting a woman unspooling a roll of film, a cornice interlocking with an arched pediment, a grand arch with medallions, triangular pediments, ornate pilasters" and an auditorium decorated with "goddesses in decorative plaster."
Still, the theater was demolished in December 2007.
vintage photo from photobucket
A recent de-cluttering of my closet turned up a bag of treats--two novelty items purchased on my last trip to the Funny Store: X-Ray Gogs and a Bar Bug, the old fly in the ice cube gag.
I thought about how the city used to be big enough to contain things like goddess-filled vaudeville houses where live nude girls and novelties could co-exist. What will come to the Playpen's old spot will be a chain restaurant where people will stand in long lines for the privilege of purchasing a hamburger.
When did the city get so small?