Monday, November 24, 2014


Hooters has arrived where Peep World once was.

In 2012, good old Peep World shuttered right across from Penn Station. We soon learned it would be replaced by a Hooters.

Now the big neon signs are up on 7th Avenue and 33rd, the green-shingled Peep World facade (formerly a Burger King, and before that an Automat) has been replaced with glass, and the Help Wanted signs are in the window, announcing "Everyone Looks Good in Orange."

There is a large Hootie the Owl inside, its wide eyes a pair of not-so subliminal boobs gawking out at the street.

And the place is enormous. It didn't just take up the entire 33rd Street Peep World space, it looks like it runs straight through the neighboring building, across a whole floor, with windows on the avenue. It is making its presence known.

In 2012, I wrote about the shift from Peep World to Hooters.

Peep World Closing
Peep World to Hooters
Peep World Remnants
Paper Magazine


Grand St. said...

33rd & 7th, my man?

Jeremiah Moss said...


PatMinNYC said...

Who's next N Y Dolls...i hope not;)

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Carl Hiaasen, Hooters gives big tits a bad name.

Makeout said...

I feel like having a Bud light all of a sudden... Fucking not.

Anonymous said...

brilliantly put!

Anonymous said...

Hooters! gives me yet another reason I think God that I'm gay.

Anonymous said...

One of your best posts yet. I vow never to step foot in that Hooters. Would prefer Rick's a few blocks away even though that's also a chain. Still represents some of the seedier side of NY.

Not Quite as Nostalgic said...

Posts like this undermine the good work you do elsewhere and allow people who want to strip the city of its real heritage to dismiss you as a crank.

Hooters is vaguely creepy, but it's a million times better than "good ol' Peepworld." Hooters is a place where (reasonably) attractive women can work of their own free will and make (reasonably) good money by wearing nothing more provocative than many women will happily wear on the street. Peepworld was staffed by women who'd been met at the Port Authority as underaged runaways, coaxed into drug addicted-dependency, guided into prostitution and kept in line by the enforcers of Matty the Horse.

Was this true of all the girls at Peepworld? Obviously not. But it was true of a shocking percentage of girls who worked at those places. Why not talk to a cop who worked vice 30 years ago before getting misty about gritty and raw New York?

Posts like this make it very easy to imagine you getting very upset if, somehow, New York had a slave market that had been grandfathered out of the restrictions of the early 19th century and survived 200 years — only to be replaced by a Starbucks.

Jeramiah: "At least the elitism and racism of the slave market was open and honest, whereas its replacement has a veneer of egalitarianism that only masks the greater slavery that is working for corporate America."

Keep being not quite nostalgic said...

Bottom line, Hooters = suburbia; Peepworld = city. Suburbia is sanitized, having the appearance of a perfect world where it's sin and crime-free, where all along it's these clean-cut, sin-free citizens who are committing the crime and sinning.

Analogy of from Peepworld to Hooters is to from slave market to Starbucks is close to Godwin's Law. You just lost your rhetoric and this thread is dead.

Not Quite as Nostalgic said...

The slave market analogy could hardly be more apt given the lamentations about the loss of an industry that enslaved many prostitutes in the literal sense: if girls left, people tracked them down, beat them up and forced them to return to work.

This happened — and happens — in frightening numbers. Books on the Genovese family or the porn industry will tell the story, as will a bunch of mob-related websites. A good depiction of how slave women are imported via cargo ships and smuggled around the country is depicted on The Wire’s second season.

Maybe this particular business never did this, but the industry, which was a mob monopoly for decades, did and does.

The other thing that’s wrong about this nostalgia is quotes like this from the original article: “Peep World was New York.”

That’s just wrong. Peep World wasn’t some precious, unique slice of this one city. It was just like every other establishment of its ilk in every other dodgy urban area across the country. There’s nothing as utterly generic as a low-end porn theater or strip club or video store. They all look and smell and feel exactly the same, whether you’re in Dallas or Indianapolis or New York.

The assertion that “Peepworld = city” is wrong for the same reason. The suburbs are teaming with places like Peepworld, far more so than they’re teaming with outlets of Hooters.

deb said...

Hooters has good wings though. I kind of like it it's sooo tacky!!

Anonymous said...

Well put Jeremiah.

Anonymous said...

Most of the porn and human trafficking happen now in the suburbs, in those McMansions that Not Quite as Nostalgic loves. How about talking to a vice cop today instead of 30 years ago? Enjoy your wings at Hooters.

Anonymous said...

Great debate, Fellas. I suspect every generation that sees the cataclysmic changes that happen in nyc go through the same nostalgia. Better or worse? Who knows. I know one thing, though. There isn't enough fabuloso and purell in the world to have me ever eat at that particular hooters. I hung out on that peep world many a time killing time before catching the LIRR. Every manner of Dantesque horror occurred there, including undoubtedly countless hiv transmissions. not kicks for everyone, but neither is skydiving or roller coasters. Anyway, knowing it's not too distant past the LAST thing I could ever do on that premesis would be EAT in the same place where thousands of anonymous sex acts took place. But such is the microcosm machine that is new york city. And, I suspect, such is life itself.

Anonymous said...

That part interesting
.as far as say what used to be the old Hollywood porn theatre on 8th Ave (in taxi driver) now I think it's a tourist kiosk or something. Or when I used to drive a cab the hack stand is now the swishy park restaurant on's like guys used to change tires and urinate in the space 24 7.