From Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Noho Star & Temple Bar


On Lafayette Street since 1985, The Noho Star still has an old-school vibe that attracts low-key neighborhood people along with New York luminaries like Chuck Close, Wallace Shawn, and Lauren Hutton. The restaurant’s sister spot, Temple Bar, opened in 1989.

Now both are about to vanish.

The owners recently filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the New York State Department of Labor, indicating plans to lay off Noho Star’s staff of 54 workers and close the restaurant on December 31.

Under “Reason for Dislocation,” it says “Economic.” The same listing is given for Temple Bar–all 13 employees laid off and the place closed December 31.

Noho Star and Temple Bar were both opened by George Schwarz, a 1930s German-Jewish emigre who began his New York restaurant empire in 1973 with Elephant and Castle in Greenwich Village, followed by One Fifth (since closed). He then acquired and revived the great Keens Chop House when it closed in 1978. From there, he and his artist wife, Kiki Kogelnik, opened Noho Star and Temple Bar. They also bought the building.

Schwarz died not a year ago, in December 2016. His friend Bonnie Jenkins, long-time manager of Keens, is Vice President of the closing restaurants. (Jenkins prefers not to comment on the closures at this time.)

There are no indications that the shutter is coming for Keens or Elephant and Castle.

Eggs Idaho

Only in the past few years did I finally find my way to Noho Star. In a neighborhood of dwindling options, it’s one of the last comfortable places to get a decent meal, i.e., a place that attracts a mixed-age crowd and doesn’t play loud music (or any music) while you eat. It’s a place where a person can dine alone, reading The Times (on paper) or The London Review of Books (as recently witnessed). It’s a place where you can think.

I will miss it.

from The Comments Section:


MKB said…

The Noho Star in turn replaced a dusty and old office supply store (where you could still buy V-Mail stationery as late as the Seventies) and NYC’s worst restaurant. That restaurant was so bad junkies and narcs (back in the day when a narc disguise was a serape and a wig) were the main customers. Why was I there? It was also the cheapest and right around the corner from my place on Mott.
I am so very sad that the Noho Star will be no more. Lots of memories.

October 10, 2017 at 4:30 PM


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Uptown Bounce: Latin Disco
Wednesday, August 9, 6:00 pm
Join us for the season finale of Uptown Bounce at a Latin-infused ’70s dance party inspired by the Museum’s exhibition, Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York.
his program is presented in collaboration with El Museo Del Barrio and produced with Rebecca Lynn of Mobile Mondays! Special thanks to the New York International Salsa Congress and our media sponsors, Gothamist and WKTU.

For more information, including funding credits, please visit mcny.org.

* If you’re interested in purchasing alcoholic drinks, please bring your ID.

Images: Photos by Filip Wolak | Byron Company (New York, N.Y.) Roof Garden – American Roof Garden 1898 Eighth Ave at 42nd Street S.E. Cor. 1898. Museum of the City of New York, | Byron Company. Sports, Bathing, Midland Beach. 1898. Museum of the City of New York.

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A discussion about Photography In New York In the 1970s with Philip Trager and Ken Scheles:


At: Rizzoli Bookstore 1133 Broadway, at 26th Street.

Event held on 3/28/2017 from 6-8pm…

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from the website of Printed Matter:

Printed Matter presents Realize Your Desires: Underground Press from the Library of Stefan Brecht, an exhibition of alternative and independently-published newsprint periodicals from the early ‘60s to mid ‘70s.  Featuring work from nearly 30 presses with over 400 individual issues, the exhibition highlights both well-recognized and under-known publications, presented from the collection of the late poet, theater critic, and philosopher Stefan Brecht. The exhibition spans across Printed Matter’s back wall and adjoining project room, with hundreds of items available for purchase (several in complete or near-complete runs). The exhibition runs from June 18th through July 31. …

Under the rubric of a loosely affiliated (and sometimes syndicated) ‘Underground Press’, these periodicals trace a powerful shift in a rapidly evolving cultural landscape. Usually published as weeklies – often in large editions – and broadly distributed locally and by subscription, the Underground Press provided a vibrant space for revolutionary ideas which played out on all fronts of politics and culture, and offered a searing response to many issues of the day. For the years it was active, the Underground Press served as a radical agent in the push for civil rights on a host of issues including, the anti-war movement, black power movement, women’s liberation, gay rights, sexual liberation, drug culture, and anti-colonialism/imperialism.

The publications of the ‘Underground Press’ emerged out of a specific historical moment. In 1966 a Supreme Court decision allowing that ‘offensive material’ was permissible if it was seen to have redeeming social value created a relatively tolerant legal climate in which the Underground Press was able to thrive. Within seven years amidst the Nixonian backlash against political and cultural dissent, a Supreme Court Decision in 1973 effectively reversed the previous ruling and a higher threshold of censorship contributed to the squelching of this vibrant cultural phenomenon. Realize Your Desires traces the rise of radical voices via the Underground Press into the early seventies, at which point it is supplanted by a more subdued ‘alternative’ press offering a broader catch-all coverage of news, culture and the arts from a mainstream liberal perspective, with much of its radicality excised.

The periodical format – particularly that of the Underground Press – provides a spontaneous and raw narration of an historic era “in real time”. These tabloids – with writing that was opinionated, heartfelt, and very often outraged – were not merely reporting on the issues of the day, but were the sites of commentary and critique that engendered and progressed the movement itself. This was the revolution in the first person, without an interest in posterity and without the misty lens of history.

Beginning with activist newsweeklies from the early 1960’s such as Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker (founded in the ’30s), the marxist Militant, and the anti-racist and anti-imperialist Muhammad Speaks, the exhibition follows the explosion of countercultural publishing that properly begins in 1967.

In the case of The Black Panther, the newspaper served as the official news service of the Black Panther Party, publishing twice a month on the black liberation movement and its battle with America’s racist legacy.  …

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Photographer David Godlis Takes us Back to the 1970s Bowery

Posted on: June 22nd, 2016 at 5:15 am by

Bowery, 1977

It’s mid 1970s gritty New York City and you’re perusing through the Village Voice when a large ad for a bar you’ve never heard of catches your eye. Night after night you find yourself heading down to this seedy part of town which has drawn you in with its sweaty air, loud punk music, and self-destructive shady characters. Having become a regular, you’re having another one of your many rounds that evening, when your mind clears for a brief moment long enough to realize the need to document this soon-to-be-famed bar when all the lights have dimmed and the freaks come out. Nights turn into mornings and you gather photos of what you see as just your evening routine, your 20-something wild days of partying and listening to people scream on stage while regulars lean up against the bar smoking cigarettes. Chaos-filled nights go by, but the story certainly doesn’t end here. It is the beginning of a fascinating one that involves the Lower East Side’s well-loved CBGB and iconic photographer David Godlis.

No Wave Punks, Bowery 1978. l. to r.: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradly Field, and Liz Seidman

Last week, I met up with Godlis at a coffee shop on Sixth Avenue, and we spent hours talking about his days (and most importantly, nights) at CBGB. Documented in his soon to be released photography book entitled History is Made at Night (it sure is), we are able to get a glimpse into what the real, dirty, sweaty, nightlife was like at CBGB from 1976-1979. Although Godlis admits that it was just his routine, that he was just living his life the way we live ours, he does admit that himself (and others) realized that something special was happening around them. Having previous experience as a street photographer, he was in the perfect position to take it upon himself to start documenting the scene. Although CBGB was filled with now extremely well known and famous bands such as The Ramones, Television, Blondie, The Dead Boys, Patti Smith (I could go on.. and on…and on…) Godlis understood the importance of photographing the locals as well. It is because of this that many moments, which could easily have been forgotten, are preserved. After all, it’s not just the big names, but the CBGB regulars that made the scene what it was.

Television, CBGB, 1977

Merv Ferguson, CBGB bouncer, Bowery, 1977

Richard Hell, Bowery rainstorm, 1977

Godlis’ pictures capture CBGB’s truest form using light that was provided from the street. Taken only at night using his hand held Leica and TRI-X film, they give an accurate picture of what was really happening in the dimly lit surroundings. Taking a closer look at each image, it is impossible to turn the page without wondering what circumstances surrounded them. Who was Richard Hell waving to? What was Handsome Dick Manitoba doing standing outside groping his girlfriend? Why was Merv Ferguson on the street randomly holding two beers? The fascinating part of his pictures is that each tells a unique story. And if you’re anything like me, you want to know more.

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From Chelsea Now: Review of From The Chelsea Hotel to The Chintz Age

Added by Scott Stiffler on May 4, 2016.
Saved under Arts, Features

Ed Hamilton, a resident of the Chelsea Hotel since 1995, stands outside of the building, where scaffolding has been up for years as the interior undergoes reconstruction. Photo by Scott Stiffler.

BY PUMA PERL | New Yorkers are notoriously, easily, justifiably irritated by geographical errors and timeline flubs when reading about their city. Fortunately, Ed Hamilton pretty much gets it right. “The Chintz Age,” a collection of short stories, is aptly described on the cover as telling “tales of love and loss.” The characters are living in a time of uncertainty, watching in horror as their neighborhoods turn against them; small businesses are being displaced, chrome and glass have risen up like monsters, and longtime residents are losing the fabrics of their lives.

We meet the characters of the seven stories (and one novella) at pivotal points in their lives. They long for the past as they seek validation in the present. Even the realm of horror is entered, with vultures scheming to take over an apartment. Backed against the high-rise walls of gentrification, the characters find themselves seeking redemption as their lives and relationships are forced into change.

Seven stories and a novella comprise “The Chintz Age,” Ed Hamilton’s look at culture clashes in gentrified NYC neighborhoods. Courtesy Červená Barva Press.

Greg, the protagonist of the opening story, “Fat Hippie Books,” immediately engages the reader. He is the cantankerous and somewhat egotistical owner of a bookstore that is on its way out. Flaws and all, Greg is ours, the type of guy we put up with even when he drives us crazy. Like most of the others in the book, he’s a dying breed; more interested in a dissection of Kerouac’s influences than in a nouveau grilled sun-dried fig cheese sandwich. He’s growing older, and is reluctantly acknowledging that the success he once expected has not come to pass. To the author’s credit, each tale develops fleshed out characters, responding in their own ways not only to the city’s changing landscape and to gentrification, but also to their own realizations and self-assessments. Hamilton’s affection for the outer edges of society is demonstrated by his portrayals of the artists, musicians, writers, pimps, homeless individuals, prostitutes and junkies who roam through the various locales, usually the seediest corners that remain in existence.

Ed Hamilton was born in Atlanta and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Following graduate school, he taught philosophy in Washington, DC, but always wanted to write fiction. When his girlfriend (now his wife), Debbie Martin, received a job offer in New York, they took the opportunity and ran with it.

“We had long been fans of the Chelsea Hotel, since some of our favorite writers and artists had lived there, and it was the first place we tried. Eventually, [then-owner/manager] Stanley Bard rented us a room, and we’ve been there since 1995,” said Hamilton. Incredibly, they have been able to hold onto their home through years of court cases and the constant noise, dust, and lack of services that go along with renovation. “Life at the hotel has not been pleasant,” he said. “The hotel has been stripped of its art collection, most of the historic rooms have been gutted, and it looks like a filthy construction site.…

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from the NYC MTA: MTA New York City Transit, NY Transit Museum Ring in Holidays with Vintage Buses, Subways

Vintage Train

MTA New York City Transit and the New York Transit Museum are putting extra magic on the tracks with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s annual holiday tradition of rides to the past via its vintage fleet of buses and subway trains – and the chance for transit fans to buy museum merchandise at a special station pop-up shop.

The holiday nostalgia fleet includes subway cars from the 1930s and buses from the late 1940s to the 1980s. The New York Transit Museum typically displays these vehicles during special events at the museum or around the city, but are offering these holiday nostalgia rides to the public for a limited time with the swipe of a MetroCard. Some vintage buses also will be on display at Union Square, Herald Square and at the Circle Line Terminal.

For four consecutive Sundays in December, subway customers can catch the “Shoppers Special,” a train consisting of eight cars from the 1930s that ran along the lettered lines until the late 1970s. The cars, which were ordered for the Independent Subway System (IND), were the first subway cars to be identified by their contract numbers, hence the R1/9 designations. R1/9 cars, known as ““City-Cars,” have rattan seats, ceiling fans, incandescent light bulbs, and roll signs for passenger information. Their design of more doors that were also wider and faster, plus increased standing capacity to accommodate crowds, served as the model of modern subway cars, and their dimensions are identical to the latest R160 cars. They were retired from service in 1977.

“For all intents and purposes, this was the first modern subway car and today’s subway fleets owe a lot to the design,” said Joe Leader, Senior Vice President of Subways. “They were basic, durable and offered the expected levels of customer comfort for decades after they were introduced into service. We continue to build upon this strong foundation with each new car design.”

The “Shoppers Special” will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 6, 13, 20, and 27, making local stops on the 6 Av Line from Queens Plaza to 2 Av. The first run of the day departs from 2 Av, where a special museum pop-up shop will be open every Sunday during the holiday nostalgia rides.

MTA NYC Transit is also putting a fleet of vintage buses on the M42 route for weekday daytime service between November 30 and December 18. The buses, which will operate between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., will only be available weather permitting. The vintage fleet will not operate in rainy, snowy or icy conditions.

This year’s holiday nostalgia buses were manufactured by General Motors, Mack and Flexible, three major firms that no longer manufacture buses.

“Seeing these vintage buses in service again is always a nostalgic event for many New Yorkers. My father and I drove some of these buses, which makes this an especially personal event for me,” said Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President New York City Transit Department of Buses.

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from Spoiled NYC: MTA Just Announced Vintage Subways and Buses Will Run Over the Holiday Season in NYC

Because it’s officially the holiday season in New York City, there’s news of this from the wonderful folks over at the MTA:

“For four consecutive Sundays in December, subway customers can catch the “Shoppers Special,” a train consisting of eight cars from the 1930s that ran along the lettered lines until the late 1970s.

The cars, which were ordered for the Independent Subway System (IND), were the first subway cars to be identified by their contract numbers, hence the R1/9 designations.

R1/9 cars, known as ““City-Cars,” have rattan seats, ceiling fans, incandescent light bulbs, and roll signs for passenger information.

Their design of more doors that were also wider and faster, plus increased standing capacity to accommodate crowds, served as the model of modern subway cars, and their dimensions are identical to the latest R160 cars. They were retired from service in 1977.”

“For all intents and purposes, this was the first modern subway car and today’s subway fleets owe a lot to the design,” said Joe Leader, Senior Vice President of Subways.

“They were basic, durable and offered the expected levels of customer comfort for decades after they were introduced into service. We continue to build upon this strong foundation with each new car design.”

Is it just us or do these holiday trains actually make the price of subway ride less… painful on our minds (and wallets)?…

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From i-D:
photography Emily Manning 12 November, 2015

the changing world of midtown manhattan

Harvey Stein has documented starting shooting in Manhattan on his lunch break in 1974, and hasn’t stopped since.

New York subcultures are always linked to micro-neighbourhoods. Think punks at St. Marks Place, beatniks in Greenwich Village, and now, cyber (or health, or maybe just regular) goths in Bushwick. But you’d be hard pressed to think of a tribe whose village is Midtown. Shaded by skyscrapers, the commercial hub is mostly shared by suits and slow tourists who meet each other only when shuffling through stuffed sidewalks. This anxious, anonymous herd has captivated photographer Harvey Stein for over four decades.

Next week, Stein will release Briefly Seen: New York Street Life, the final volume in his trilogy capturing the Empire City’s enclaves. The series’ first two volumes compiled Stein’s decade-spanning work in Coney Island and Harlem — portrait-style images that chronicle each area’s eccentric communities and vibrant energy. Briefly Seen, however, is a collection of truly candid, frenzied imagery shot smack dab in the middle of Midtown’s most densely packed mobs.

Stein has photographed the same haunts from 6th Ave to 60th Street with the same Leica from 1974 – 2014, but he doesn’t date his images. The only visual clues viewers have to a photograph’s historical moment are subtle: the thickness of glasses frames, the width of lapels, the model of mobile phones — or their absence. We caught up with Stein to find out more about capturing New York’s unique pulse and pace.

How did you begin shooting in Midtown?
I actually worked on Madison Ave and 57th St for about four years before I decided to chuck it all and become a photographer. I would go out every lunch hour in the summer, leave my suit coat and tie in the office, hide my camera under my arm, go walk around and photograph. When the hour was up, I’d sneak back to work — kind of like Clark Kent. It felt like I had a split personality, like I was living a dual life. I was loving what I wasn’t doing enough of and not liking what I was doing too much of! I left that ad agency long ago, but have photographed the area ever since.

How have you seen the neighbourhood change over time?
Times Square has changed amazingly. It used to be full of drug addicts and sex shops. During the day in the 70s or 80s, people would walk from the Port Authority to their office in Midtown, but they’d do so very quickly and with their heads down. You wouldn’t go in at night at all. Around the mid-90s, that started to change, but I really wasn’t that interested in photographing that transition. From 42nd to 57th Street between 3rd and 7th Avenue, things have stayed is pretty much the same. There are modern, ecologically efficient buildings now, but by and large, I haven’t seen a lot of change in Midtown.…

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