Friday, May 18, 2012

*Everyday Chatter

The controversial St. Mark's Place 7-11 has its Grand Opening "Prize Wheel" event today. They're giving away iPads and selling Slurpees for 11 cents. How can our local bodegas compete with such bread and circuses?

Intimate photos inside the old Chelsea Hotel. [FW]

The Chelsea Hotel is losing its vintage phone booths. [LWL]

Photographer David Monderer shows his photos of "Holdouts," the storefronts of NYC that struggle to survive. [SP]

More luxury condos for Bowery. [EVG]

Hysteria and the history of vibrators at the Sunshine. [BB]

Looking back at the neon of the vanished Terminal Bar. [NYN]

Documenting the art and architecture of ABC No Rio. [KS]

Save the Oak Room at the Algonquin--sign the petition. [Change]

Full-color photos of NYC in 1971. [Retronaut]

What's this cryptic symbol coming to the former Estroff Pharmacy on 2nd and 8th? Fro-yo? Mashed potatoes? (Hence my anxiety dream about it.)


esquared™ said...

1950's street photos of NYC, currently on exhibit at the Queens Museum

Aaron Joy said...

I don't know what is controversial about 7-11. Until 2 weeks ago I worked next door and the 3 of us in my store went there everyday and I know numerous other store folks on the block who went there. We loved it. They didn't just come in and blandly plunk down a mini-mart but actually found out what the neighborhood needed and filled a niche. You still go to the grocery store for your sandwiches but you go to 7-11 for fast biscuit sandwiches and the best drink selection around. It's only controversial for those who don't work every day in the area. If you want to talk about controversy on the block talk about how St. Marks Books refused a lower lease option on St. Marks to stay where they are. Or, talk about about the new liquer store moving in near T&V or Normans moving out in August to be replaced by a Dunkin Donuts - which will be plunked down. Or, talk about how on the weekends the street is overrun with tourists and suburb kids who just want to drink and act stupid and be cool but have completely killed any evening business for a lot of the stores on the block.

Jeremiah Moss said...

apologias for "the Sevvy" (as we called it way back when) are unnecessary. the mega-chain will survive just fine on its own. Gem Spa needs you more.

laura said...

the "full color photographs of NY 1971" are beautiful. especially the 2nd half. the underexposed color captures the feeling i remember. does anyone know where number 1500 (& something) amsterdam ave. is? i lived on w.79th between columbus & amsterdam from may 1971 to 1973, also near amsterdam on w.104st& 83rd st. i wonder what i looks like now?

laura said...

7/11's are ugly. so is dunkin donuts. i would choose artisanal before this. many reasons besides visual. but not on this post. (as usual i am controversial, no i dont want to discuss "job creation"). what are the options? gross chain stores? or places for $5, cups of coffee & not much else? may vermont is the answer, i read that they are fighting the "dollar store" from moving in. maybe NYC is a lost cause. when walmart gets there, time to stay home. sorry to be a fatalist, but this whole thing is creepy.

laura said...

what happened to saint marks place (& e.village) is same as what transpired in the mid 1960s w/8st, & eventually mc dougal & bleeker st area soon after that. im against the 7-11s, but i support the gem spas. there is nothing you can do about this. btw, i was in a historical city some years ago. (not in the USA, it was a united nations heritage site). there was a little store which looked like it sold water & soda. little did i know this was a 7/11. the sign was small, the outside facade was brick. none offensive, worked w/ the achitecture of the city. same w/ dominos. i thought i smelled pizza, then saw a tiny logo, w/the nice brick & stone facade. the signs have to be w/in a certain size & shape. years ago people should have spoken up, declared parts of NYC national heritage sites. the U.N. is in new york, whats up w/this? any comment jeremiah?? is it too late to do this in some areas. jackie would have supported this.

Brendan said...

I don't know if this is an "apologia" but 7-11 is pretty much the opposite of gentrification.

Anonymous said...

@Brendan No kidding.

@Aaron Joy No one wants to know what a bunch of jerkoffs Saint Marks Books has historically been. They were movin' on up as soon as there was an up. (And more than once.)

I'd hit the library and 7-11 no matter how uncomfortable or shitty before I would support their over-educated upper-middle-class white snobtasmic solopcistic edacity.

laura said...

no anon! (7:14pm), crappy low end chains are too ugly. @least the "over educated" places are attractive. gee, i THOUGHT i was over educated, but i dont understand one word you said. did you make those words up?? talk straight, this is serious. i dont support 7-11s in any part of the world, EXCEPT the one in the national heritage site. shame on new york for being behind mexico. @least in their few blue states, they have preservation laws. the rest is a filthy industrial w/more walmarts/7-11s/used car places/factories. (eminent domain, they demolished many cities). i'll take "over educated" anytime. besides the point, they have crappy coffee in 7-11, the air conditioners are bitter cold, the lighting is demoralizing. why dosnt someone in new york go to the landmarks commission &/or bloomberg & try to get a good compromise. chains yes, but visual regulations enforced. maybe in the neigborhoods where there is a building height limitation. (do they enforce that)?? meanwhile take your communist views back to china. we dont need the neigborhoods ruined.

Anonymous said...

One never knows if it's 3am or 3 pm at 7-11s, sipping sterile.

7-11 may not be a weapon of gentrification, but it is a weapon of suburbanification, and both come hand in hand. Unfortunately, NYC is being invaded from all fronts by the gentrifiers and suburbanizers. Of course, a gentrfier will justify and defend 7-11s presence and not call it gentrification. Still homogenization by the dull and characterless.

laura said...

also their fridge is almost like an icebox. you cant even drink that water. yes i have found water on the shelf. anyone seen the sandwiches? my taxi driver stops there for a take out. so i have been there done that. suburbanization, yes. but a cheesy suburb! or one that has no limits. btw, 7-11s/dominos in the heritage site (mexico) are on the "outskirts" of the higher end "over educated" areas. what is really nice is even the poorest of the poor get a nicer look. their buildings may be decayed but they are original. i dont think bloomberg gives a damn for anyone. what if there was a 7-11 on upper madison? then he will object. OR, have new heritage rules.

laura said...

2nd&8th: "sign" for the future? it looks like the logo for SHELL GAS. which was a shell. we know its not a gas station. my age is showing. could be an ice cream w/out the cone? face it, EV is a college town.

Brendan said...

Hating Marc Jacobs is righteous. I worry that hating 7-11 is just class snobbery dressed up as something else.

Anonymous said...

Like the Midwestern gentrifiers do not look down on the culture and the people they gentrify. Midwestern self-righteousness.

Little Earthquake said...

Big chains have been "invading" New York for decades. 7/11 is only the latest in a long line of McDonald's, Gaps, A&Ps, Starbucks, Gimbels, Taco Bells, Arby's, etc. Note that some are still around while others have seen their presence diminished or replaced.

NYC has of course exported plenty of chains to the rest of the US - Sbarro and Woolworth's for example.

Chain store retail shopping has been around since at least the 1920s in the city and elsewhere. If you're longing for a pre-franchise Gotham then you're pining for something pre-Jazz Age in which case you are at least 90 or drowning in faux nostalgia for a time and place you've never witnessed.

7/11 is just the latest. Don't like it, then don't go there. I consider Sbarro an affront to the NY pizzeria, but you know what? I don't spend one thin dime there. If I see one it's like I'm staring at a blank space on the landscape. Yet I still see plenty of independent pizzerias and they do just fine.

It's 2012, enjoy your city today, or life will pass you by. I walked all over town the past week (relatives in town, showed them around) and I realized it's a great time to live here. The park and recreation options in NYC today are probably better than they've been in decades (but I could be wrong, who knows). Just a feeling I got. People in my South Brooklyn neighborhood were even enjoying the latest fro-yo transplant (16 Handles). Looked like it belonged in a mall but still plenty of locals/natives partaking. If you ain't where you are you're nowhere.

Brendan said...

Anonymous 10:23, it must be tiring to hallucinate midwesterners everywhere all the time.

Direct your hate at the Great Googa Mooga (Google it if you don't know) -- true evil.