I've been reading David Wojnarowicz's diaries, In the Shadow of the American Dream, for its detailed chronicling of New York City in the 1970s. At one point, he heads into "a new New York dive restaurant," the vanished Tiffany diner of Sheridan Square.
Tim Faracy, flickr
He describes the clientele: "three no-wave women behind us in the next booth with black short razored hair and gold-black circles around their eyes and cheap plastic black-and-white bulby earrings and sleazo clothes, neat lookin' and they left after flashin' us some lingering stares, over to the other side in a booth were two women on quaaludes nodding out over eggs and toast, chewing with eyes closed for minutes at a time, and the rattle of cars on the street, the crowds drifting by, one girl who was stunned tripped and dropped her radio which shattered into various pieces and got up smiling and walked on."
Shannon Davis, flickr
By the time I got to Tiffany's, the No Wave women were long gone, but the pink Formica had not yet been ripped out. I'd heard about the place and went in search of some kind of Village scene.
In 1995 the New York Times described it as "a dowdy, low-budget gathering place for a colorful cross section of Villagers. For the price of a cup of coffee, playwrights and older New Yorkers bought endless hours in the diner's gaudy pink booths. Gay men and lesbians considered it an all-night embodiment of the Village's tolerant spirit."
Tony Perez, etsy
After a fire and renovation in 1995, Tiffany's lived a little longer. But by 2001, after over 30 years in business, it was gone. A realtor hyped the space by naming its neighbors: "GNC, CVS Pharmacy, Gourmet Garage, Jekyll & Hyde, Citibank, Duplex Cabaret, Federal Express, and New York Sports Club."
Today it's a Bank of America.