Friday, January 18, 2008

Save Hotel Penn

Rally with Save the Hotel to rescue the historic Hotel Pennsylvania from corporate destruction. Show up at the hotel tomorrow, Saturday, from 9:00 - 11:00 in the morning and you will not only get the satisfaction of doing a good thing, you will also get free donut holes! And you might also get on TV.

I visited the hotel back in November and took a walk around the neighborhood. If we lose this landmark, we will also most certainly lose an interesting block of New York City. Turning the hotel into another corporate tower will change the surrounding businesses, a motley collection of wig shops, bars, odd little churches--the places that make New York different from Disney World.

We could lose Hickey's Bar, an Irish dive that's already changed (or changing) hands, though the owner of 40 years assured me it isn't closing, as the Times reported. When I was there, Neil Diamond was singing "Love on the Rocks" from the juke and the walls were covered with pictures of fighters, like Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, and Joe Louis standing over a defeated Max Schmeling.

"We're not closing," the owner told me, "there's a new owner, that's all." Did he think the new guy would change the bar much? "Oh, he'll do it up a little bit," I was told, "Yeah, he'll do it up a little bit."

Next to Hickey's is an Old Navy and next to Old Navy is Peep World.

We could lose that, too--Peep World, not Old Navy. But the girls standing outside smoking cigarettes hadn't heard any rumors to that effect. Not yet anyway.

Now maybe you're thinking, What do I care about saving a dive bar and a porno shop? Well, it's places like these that keep our city from turning into a total capitalist utopia. They're keeping it real. That's worth saving.


Duh-Lee-Nuh said...


Anonymous said...

thanks for the info. i agree about that block, it'd be hearbreaking to see it fed to the corporate fuckers.

Anonymous said...

Have you actually stayed at the Penn Hotel? It is a piece of shit.

Rambler said...

Yeah, but Peep World really sucks as far as porn shops go...anyway, why not then write about how many video shops have sprung up on 14th between 6th and 7th and along 6th Avenue.

Porn is going away as much because of the internet as it is overdevelopment

Anonymous said...

This is just an ass-backward POV. None of these places are worth saving. I say sell it all to Disney. The whole area is a shithole.

Anonymous said...

the hotel pennsylvania is totally undistinguished as architencture and badly run as a hotel. tear that sucker down and don't look back. as for a peep shop and a bad irish bar let 'em go. romanticizing crap makes it hard to fight for the stuff that really needs saving.

amarilla said...

I understand it may not meet your dreams as it is now, but I would hate to see it made over like Cancun, rendered souless, sterilized by the people's drive to disassociate with what's old and bears history (and sometimes an odor). It's hard to stomach another bleach powered sacrifice to the god of the $$$.

Anonymous said...

Is this the Hotel Pennsylvania across the street from Madison Square Garden? It’s odd, but I never thought of that area as a shithole. It seemed pretty built-up to me; just another sea of condos. I always thought the yunnies would be pretty comfortable around there.
Still, unlike say...Dumbo or Soho, a surprising number of discount retailers have managed to survive around there, like Target and Conway and some discount jewelers and places like that. Frankly, over these past few years I’ve been very surprised that those businesses have managed to hang on, but I guess the mere fact of their presence must scare those yunnie kids pretty bad. Those last two Annonymouses seem really bothered by that area.
I myself have always found it fascinating to listen to yunnies complain about the city. Hearing what they consider intolerable in an urban setting can be very surprising at times.