Monday, May 19, 2014

Mars Bar to TD Bank

This weekend, the East Village celebrated the Grand Opening of another TD Bank -- on the sacred ground that once held Mars Bar.

With free coffee and cookies, games to play and raffles to win, the energetic TD Bank people flanked the sidewalk in suits and ties, accompanied by a green-faced, wedge-shaped mascot who waved his mitts and thrust his pelvis in a delirious attempt to attract new recruits. It's all part of TD's aggressive expansion throughout the city.

"Win prizes!" the bank people called as East Villagers walked by, some of them stopping for cookies. "Take a chance! You know you want to!"

Inside, a bored-looking DJ in a TD Bank polo shirt played watered-down versions of 1980s punk and New Wave classics.

If you stand on the spot where the long wooden bar used to be -- at the front by the windows where the sunlight used to ooze in through smeared and graffiti-covered glass -- if you stand there, with your back against the ghost of the bar, and look out at what had been the Mars Bar view, you will be faced with a phalanx of ATMs.

Three clones in a row, extruded from some multinational design, with their bellies full of bills, like slot machines they wait for their buttons to be pressed.

No one is telling stories or cracking jokes. No one is slapping art on the walls. And the yeasty smell of beer has been replaced by new carpets, slowly off-gassing their volatile organic compounds.

Vivienne Gucwa, flickr


Jim Holt said...

The old site of Jack Bistro, on University Place, is also turning into a TD Bank. The signs announcing the imminent arrival of "your new neighbor" have just gone up.

JAZ said...

"Inside, a bored-looking DJ in a TD Bank polo shirt played watered-down versions of 1980s punk and New Wave classics."


Derrick Kardos said...

corporate totalitarianism isn't so much about a boot stomping on your face forever as it is about an abstract corporate mascot laughing in your face forever.

laura r. said...

subtle totalitarianism is the worst kind. so whats worse a bank or frozen yogart? you tell me. letus know when the votes are in. tough call. @least w/a bank we dont have to look @ the slobs eatting yogart, right??

Unknown said...

Banks add nothing to a neighborhood. They close early and basically just sit as big ugly beacons wasting electricity through the night. While I hate a frozen yogurt place, I would welcome some form of night street life in these soon to be dead locations.

LIsa said...

Disgusting. And depressing.