Back in April, the Hamptons boutique Blue & Cream mounted a "Tribute to Mars Bar" photo exhibit in their Bowery location. Locals were appalled. I wrote about it then, but dared not venture inside for fear of coming out with post-traumatic stress disorder. Well, the exhibit is still up, and I couldn't help myself.
Above racks hawking $600 dresses and $1,000 shoes, the ghosts of the old dive bar hang like trophies on a hunter's wall. The faces of barflies look back at shoppers from vanished stools, like the faces of the old Bowery, recalling Skid Row's down and outs--today washed away by the luxury Bowery Tsunami. Where did all those people go?
At their feet, the price tags on designer leather jackets flutter ($1,350). The color of the leather? Cognac.
At the cash register there's a pile of postcards for the taking. On the front, Blue & Cream has chosen to showcase one of Mars Bar's last murals. The words "The East Village Is Dead" are drenched in blood and flanked by images of its killers. In this space, it feels like a victory flag.
The fellow on the right looks like he shops at this very boutique. Isn't that him, across the room, fingering the fabric of a $285 Pique Polo (perfect with its collar popped)?
front of card
On the back of the card, the boutique informs us that the iconic bar was brought down by a condo developer's wrecking ball.
You cannot make up irony as cruel as this.
back of card