In the Village People's video for "YMCA," a few glimpses of the vanished city.
The piers, the Ramrod, and the original McBurney Y.
In 2000, the Y -- where the Village People said you could go when you’re short on your dough -- moved to 14th Street and the old building went up for sale.
Across from the Chelsea Hotel since 1904, it sold for $8.5 million, and then sold again in 2003 for $12.5 million. The upper floors of the were converted into large “ultraluxury” condos, while the lower floors were given over to the David Barton gym. In the Times, the new building owner said the gym would be a "one of a kind luxury spa." "They are planning a Turkish Room," he said, "with indoor waterfalls and eucalyptus scrubs done by men in sarongs, combined with afternoon tea."
In the Voice, Michael Musto wrote about the grand opening. He reported, “scantily clad guys and gals sported the motto ‘Look better naked’ in body glitter or on T-shirts, and five wackos dressed like the Village People pranced around a steamy stage as ‘YMCA’ boomed out of the sound system.”
If the YMCA video doesn't satisfy your Village People needs, their movie Can't Stop the Music is streaming
on Netflix. It's a 1980 extravaganza of glitter, tight jeans, and Bruce Jenner. It includes a few scenes of the Village streets,
mostly along Bleecker and Christopher.
In one longer scene, the whole band, along with Valerie Perrine and Jenner (in crop top) walk along Bleecker from 10th Street, past a rug store called La Chambre Perse (now 7 For All Mankind), a number of antiques shops, and one Joe's Hand Laundry. Today they have all replaced by luxury shopping mall chain stores.