Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vanished Spaces

There's still some time to see the Vanished Spaces exhibit at ABC No Rio, today and tomorrow only. It's a fascinating look at the homegrown artist spaces that once thrived in the East Village and Lower East Side, only to be destroyed, mostly by gentrification.

Here's a sneak peek.

Julius Klein's XOXO was at 19 Second Avenue, across from Mars Bar, from 1990 - 1997.

It was demolished to make room for the massive, sprawling, hollow-eyed Avalon luxury apartment complex. In its space today is Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, complete with a view of another luxury apartment complex and a TD Bank where Mars Bar used to be.

Gas Station / Space 2B stood on 2nd Street and Avenue B from 1986 - 1995, when it was evicted (thanks to a 900% rent increase) and demolished. Wrote the Times at the time:

"For 10 years, the Gas Station, with its towering sculpture built from discards ranging from a 1970 Plymouth Valiant to department store mannequins to television sets, has been a symbol of the Lower East Side's Bohemian ways and artistic resolve."

It was a gorgeous, haunting sight, a space filled with creativity and chaos. Now it's a Duane Reade.

See these and many more at the Vanishing Spaces show--this is the final week. To get in the mood, watch Rik Little's documentary of No Se No and Rivington School. And to think the neighborhood used to be a stimulating and alive place to be.


Walter said...

The first thing I noticed when I enlarged the top picture was Rockets Redglare, actor, raconteur and doorman at the legendary Red Bar.
(Second column, 3rd full image from the right)

Anonymous said...

2nd Avenue, not Avenue B.

Julius Klein said...

I knew Rockets well. He did a couple of shows at my place in the early 90ies. One show he was 2 hrs. late explaining that he had just been released by the cops owing to either he pulling a knife on some famous drunk or the opposite?? Can't remember the details, but it was corroborated in the next few days buy more then one source.

I do remember a tame bit from his "comedy act":
If Noho is north of Houston and Soho is south or Houston, what's the raised curb area in the middle of Houston??? MIHO!! ta dum!! Probably appropriated, but WTF.

laura r. said...

a big duane reade thats life in the big city. cant wait to visit NY. they have everything i need. juslike back home.

Anonymous said...

gg allin had his last show at the gas station in 1993