In the early 1990s, Andre "Angel" Melendez was a fixture at the Limelight nightclub. He was known for wearing his trademark white angel wings. In 1996, he was infamously murdered by club kid Michael Alig.
It was a particularly gruesome murder--he was hit in the head with a hammer, injected with Drano, and put on ice until his body began to decompose, then Alig chopped him to pieces and tossed him into the Hudson River.
Today, the Limelight is now the Limelight Marketplace, a high-end shopping mall.
Said Guest of a Guest at the grand opening this spring, "The ghost of Limelight past rolled in its grave...as the 6th Avenue church-cum-debauched megaclub reopened as a mini-mall."
Real New York Housewives, Limelight mall
Angel Melendez might have been rolling, too, had he seen what was at the Limelight this weekend.
The shopping mall has placed two greeters at the door--pretty people dressed in all-white with feathery angel wings.
Was this a grim homage?
Angels outside Limelight mall today
Inevitably, I thought of Melendez and his famous wings. You don't have to be a former Limelight regular to make that connection. Even if you don't remember the splashy headlines of 1996, and you didn't see the missing flyers posted all over the Village, you only had to see the 2003 movie Party Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin.
From Party Monster
So the question is: Did the marketing people who made this decision intend to reference the victim of a brutal murder and dismemberment? Or did they stumble upon the angel wings unaware of their significance to the Limelight?
I'm not sure which would be worse. Maybe, in the light of this new day, New York history is that easy to forget.