Thursday, January 22, 2015

2B

Stefanie Lindahl sends in a rare video made by her husband, Corey Shaff, of art gallery space 2B. It occupied an abandoned gas station on Avenue B and 2nd from 1986 - 1995, when it was evicted to make way for a condo building with a Duane Reade.



Stefanie writes, "2B was a place to hang out and make things. The video was a thing made by Corey as he hung out there at a time that simply happened to coincide with the extinction/extinguishment of the place. Parnassus Lost!

2B was easy to access via a large gate on Avenue B but foreboding enough, evidently, to keep most people who ultimately did not get to experience the casual, relaxed buzz of creativity inside. It was also a place for the 'crusties' of the East Village early nineties to apprentice in smithing, among other things. Although the place seemed to be an abandoned gas station, rent was paid. It nonetheless felt like a place for a squatting guild of artisans. It was homelessly homey. It was one Manhattan holdout for those who had already started forming the artistic diaspora to Williamsburg."


2B from Corey Shaff on Vimeo.

"Besides previously working with the photographer Robert Frank, another East Village denizen, Corey also chronicled a slice of Ludlow Street of that era, as well as the defunct Amato Opera House on the Bowery for PBS. I remember how Corey wanted to juxtapose the Bowery 'bums' with the goings on within the opera house, but PBS nixed the idea as 'too scary,' so he had to cut out the footage.

2B was just such a 'scary' unedited piece of the city that got nixed by the ensuing hyper-gentrification that you so often allude to. Another place of authenticity deemed dangerous and unprofitable in the growing inauthenticity of the city."

15 comments:

Dan C. said...

I moved onto Ave B in the late 80's and used to wander down here all the time. I remember being invited inside for punch and poetry one evening past 2 AM. Or lying in the "yard" in between some club or show before heading into Save the Robots, becasue I wanted some "fresh air"

Always a fascinating place with art, experimentation and just a great neighborhood group. Even with GG Alin events.

Jonathan said...

I used to know Spinner, who I think lived there:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/leolondon/96910837/in/photolist-9yGdv-9Gm76-61WFvc-9Gm77

jsteinheimer said...

There was a Japanese Punk performance type film
shot here in 1989. I was a hired punk among many others in a scene who slammed danced around barrels of fire, with pit bulls and chickens running around while a nude Japanese couple on a make shift stage were covered in white body paint performing some type of techno dance ritual with blood. The scene was shot between 11:00pm and 3:00am. All the punks were paid $40. I often wonder if that movie ever saw the light of day.
Does anyone have any information on that movie/film?

Zoe Hansen said...

I remember it well I spent many evenings at events in the gas station sitting in a row boat stranded out front was a fave place to sit, after copping my dope across the street

Anonymous said...

Linus, the artist behind the garage, lives

http://linuscoraggio.com/

Walter said...

Who was the guy that used to bite the heads off pigeons? I once saw one of his 'performances' at that place.

Walter said...

On an entirely different note, but still in the same zip code (well, almost...as the zip code changes in the middle of First Avenue, as I recently found out)...do any of you old timers remember the guy in a wheelchair who used to panhandle in the neighborhood. His slogan was 'How about some dough, Joe' I think his sister wrote some musical that was kind of popular for a while. He got barricaded in when they erected scaffolding around his building and died inside his store front apartment. The construction company thought it was an abandoned store front.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln Swados?

Anonymous said...

I always heard this place referred to simply as "the Gas Station"...I saw a few great punk shows there over the years. I loved all the metal sculpture. It was also the venue of GG Allin's finale performance.

Walter said...

@ January 26, 2015 at 6:01 AM Yes, that's who it was. Thanks. I've been wracking my brains trying to remember his name. I live a block away and remember him panhandling in the neighborhood. Then he got locked into his store-front by a construction company erecting scaffolding, not realizing someone was living there. That was on East 4th Street. Didn't Lou Reed write a song about this>

John K said...

Walter, I think the late Lincoln Swados' sister is Elizabeth Swados, a famous playwright, musical theater composer, and writer. She's received a number of honors for her work, and still teaches at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and the New School, I think.

Anonymous said...

Here's music video with just-ice and krs-one shot inside and around 2B about 1987.

http://youtu.be/DBjrMNER9gQ

Anonymous said...

linus coraggio here, i am compiling a book about the gas station and invite anyone with pics or stories to contact me at linuscoraggio@verizon.net. i still weld,live and show in nyc. check out the sculpture garden i designed in harlem at la maison d'art gallery.
it features 25 outdoor sculptures and a giant mosaic
i did.

Anonymous said...

Small niggling point of order: I believe that the building that replaced the gas station held, originally, a "King's Pharmacy," that at least had the virtue of being locally owned (and possibly not a chain?). I think it later became a Duane Reade.

DAVID MOORE said...

does any one remember GOLD BAR , 9TH AND 1ST AVE , Around 1987 /88 ....or ''the building'' nightclub in the west 50s , i think .... please any info ... thank you