Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Before & After

A black-and-white photo of the northwest corner of 11th and University in the Village recently came to my attention. Shot by Edmund V. Gillon in 1975, it shows the Village Voice offices next to the Cedar Tavern.

I thought it deserved the "before and after" treatment.





After the Village Voice, there was Jack Bistro. Villagers wept when they were forced out by a rent hike in 2013. Long a home for artists and poets, the Cedar was shuttered in 2006, demolished, and turned into condos.

Today, in their places, there's yet another TD Bank branch and yet another outpost of a chain salon that specializes in the removal of body hair via hot wax.




13 comments:

Scout said...

Ah, I really do miss the Cedar. We used to hang out there in the mid-80s, loving the casual feel, and entirely unaware of its history with the Abstract Expressionists (not that we would have cared much then).

Caleo said...

I loved the Cedar. Went there regularly in the early 90's with co workers and friends. Seeing what replaced it is depressing.

Chris said...

Still though, let's celebrate the citibike in the after photo. Some changes are good.

Reader said...

The Village Voice has undergone a number of negative changes itself.

Scout said...

I'm with Chris on celebrating citibikes (and more biking in general).

But there are a lot of very loud folks who, bizarrely, seem to think that bicycles and Citi Bikes are the Devil's Tool and a sign of the Apocalypse.

Mark said...

Scout, this was not the Cedar bar that the poets and abstract expressionists hung out in.

That bar was on 8th Street.

This is a later incarnation, but I'm sure, due to it's proximity to the Voice, it had it's share of very interesting people.

laura rubin said...

disgusting. please report on that wonderful building next to the villagevoice. i have photographed it. the shapes are facinating.

Richard Federico said...

Scout's right, I don't think the Citibike system itself is a bad thing as far as being part of the ruination of New York, no one can argue that the biking trend isn't healthier and even a bit charming. If the Citibike system was around back in the 70's and 80's when I would be biking comfortably in NYC, I would conceivably be upset if it were gone today. After all, it has to be a smarter alternative to sitting on your ass drinking at the Cedar Tavern reading a a copy of the Voice. Isn't it?
However, interesting to note that in this very small sampling of Manhattan (just two buildings), the second picture contains two references to corporate franchises, namely BANKS. If you really want to read into second picture you also see a fire sprinkler company and a European Wax salon. My cynical interpretation?- New York is getting a waxing and a hose job by corporate banksters. Just having a little fun,,, ets-all.

Nicner said...

It's the the clueless and self-entitled Citibikers and bicyclists that's ruining NYC. CitiBike and the bike lanes just paved road for them, literally, to be more self-entitled and clueless. They don' stop at red lights or stop signs or even slow down if they're going to run that red light or stop sign and they don't yield to pedestrians who has the right of way. And they keep rigning that damn bell if even if a pedestrain or another vehicle has the right of way. Plus, the juxtaposition of sitting your ass all day vs. riding a bike isn't the issue. That's idiotic. It's the way CitiBike was unleashed. It was propagandized as an alternative mode of public transportation, where in reality it;s really for mostly tourists and the young urban professionals. Cedar Tavern;s neigborhood had soul and character contrast that to CitiBike's soulless, sterile, and characterless. And is Scout EV Today! in disguise?

mcd said...

I have been in Manhattan since 1976. Citibikes are great, and long overdue. That's about the only new thing in New York that I can say that about...

Scout said...

See what I mean? Bikes are the Coming Apocalypse!

I would argue that buses, taxis, and private cars are as "self-entitled and clueless" as bikes (if not more so), and far, far, far more dangerous, both as polluters and instruments of potential death and injury.

As far as Citibikes being for "mostly tourists and the young urban professionals" - I'm in my mid-50s, and use one several times a day.

Change can be a good thing, but not to those who live in terror of it.

King Ning said...

"Change can be a good thing, but not to those who live in terror of it."

I'm a lifelong city rat and I miss the grittiness of my New York. I despise the transformation of Times Square into a branded, bland, white bread mega-mall and the installation of ass parks in the middle of the street, which only add to traffic congestion. I detest the bike lanes and every self entitled concept associated with them. Have people dumbed down to the point where they are incapable of riding around in a safe and responsible manner without instructions painted on the street? This ain't Copenhagen and any attempt to replicate it here borders on the ridiculous. You want Copenhagen? Move there.

Change, for its own sake, isn't necessarily a good thing. In New York, "change" means eradication. There is no effort to blend the new with, and into, the old. It's all or nothing, no compromise, no desire in preserving the past in the present to be appreciated in the future. It's funny that Europeans understand that preserving the past, in historical and cultural contexts, is a way of maintaining a continuous link between what came before, what is now and what will be in the future. Warsaw, Dresden and Nurnberg for example, were obliterated during WWII. They were rebuilt, combining old and new (which included painstakingly recreating historic structures) because the people understood the importance of being able to connect with their past. Unfortunately, preserving and acknowledging New York's history doesn't exist in the minds and actions of developers. A dystopian city, a la "Blade Runner" is something we all should fear since that seems to be the direction New York is heading.

There's a construction revolution with its associated reign of terror taking place in the city and, like all revolutions, the aim of which, is replacing all vestiges of the past. Revolutions, at times, devour their own children. Ask Robespierre.

Walter said...

I'm a bit surprised that nobody so far has mentioned one of the world's legendary Piano Bars that was on that block: "Bradley's" http://jazztimes.com/articles/16380-the-perfect-jazz-club