Thursday, December 9, 2010

Virtual Max Fish

A few years ago, MTV created the Virtual Lower East Side (VLES), a digital fantasy version of the neighborhood that included clubs, bars, yarmulke shops, Katz's deli, and no condo or hotel towers.

One of the bars they created was Max Fish.

All screenshots from the VLES

On the real Ludlow Street since 1989, Max Fish will be closing at the end of January. The landlord's son has taken over and given them the boot.

Said the owner to Grub Street, "I do think that the alternative culture is being forced to get out, but I don’t think we should go. I don’t agree. We have a right to live here as much as anyone else...we’ll take the spirit and everything else with us."

When asked about recreating the space elsewhere, the owner said, "We’re going to re-create a Max Fish like we did last year in Miami for Art Basel. We did a pop-up and it was so much fun, because we did it really fast and it totally had the essence. People walked in and said, 'Oh my God, this is so much like Max Fish.'"

So maybe, after January, Max Fish will only exist as life-like pop-ups and virtual spaces. Of course, MTV's the VLES failed as a project and you can't visit the virtual Max Fish anymore, either. Somewhere in some Viacom databank, in ghosts of pixels, a crowd of hipster avatars are bobbing their heads to the next coolest song. That will be all that's left.


Anonymous said...

Wow, finally this piece of crap bar is finally gone. When all skaters started going there after Spoon Bar closed on Ave. A circa 1997, I knew it was the beginning of the end for the LES and anything cool in NY. Nothing but a bunch of hanger-ons and transplants looking to gain legitimacy. Bars aren't supposed to be that well lit anyways. R.I.P.

snuggle bunny said...

That was my brother's favorite bar before he moved to the Midwest in 2000--he used to talk about Rudy like he was some kind of long lost relative of ours. The shenanagins he got away with in that place back in the day--*whew*!

Every time he comes home to visit, he says it feels like someone steals some of his brain because he can't remember "what used to be there" in so many places. With all the other familiar spots disappearing, I just don't know that I have the heart to tell him about this one. :(

Filmatix said...

There's maybe 5 or 6 decent bars out of dozens left in that neighborhood to go to, and despite Fish falling victim to its own share of douchebag fool traffic, it's always been, even very recently, a much chiller place to hang than 90% of the watering holes in that whitewashed 'hood. Will be sad to see it go. Plus, the lighting in Fish. There was something really appealing about it. You could never make the "strobelite honey" excuse, at least. R.I.P. Fish.