New York City as a high-crime place

From Spoiled NYC:

The Sound of Silence: A Tribute To Webster Hall

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For 131 years, Webster Hall has hosted some of the world’s biggest musical acts. Today it closes its doors– at least until it reopens under new ownership, sold in a deal worth an estimated $35 million.

The space, with a maximum capacity of 2,500 people, served as a nightclub, concert venue, corporate events space, and recording studio.

It will reopen in either 2019 or 2020 as the newly christened Spectrum Hall, its space restricted to concerts and sporting events.

I received the phone call in early May. A friend of mine told me management had served all Webster Hall employees with termination notices.

True, it had been a couple of years since I’d set foot in the venue, but a part of me heaved a pained sigh for yet another victim of the city’s changing landscape, for the many dances I’d shared with fellow miscreants who streamed into the place, their wrists ablaze with the shades of kandi bracelets and multi-colored fluffies.

I remembered the faces of the girls I kissed as vividly as I recalled those of the men I kissed– or shyly didn’t kiss. I recoiled at the memory of the crappy wage I made at the time, of the overpriced drinks, the even more overpriced water bottles, a precious commodity in a space that scorched with summer heat even in midwinter.

The people I met there ran the gamut, from frat bros with cockeyed grins, to scene kids with more gumption than me, roadsters who surveyed groups of three or more, code switching and peddling ketamine all the while.

Mirrored behavior existed on the far more spacious dance floor at Amazura Concert Hall in Queens or the even more cramped Electric Warehouse in Brooklyn, and the East Village had long given way to millennial kink, this host of music, bodies, motion, and silent exchanges in bathroom stalls.

“Webster had that old-time New York grunge that made you feel like you were part of the 19th century, in the sense that “fun” could easily involve trying to locate your stolen purse/phone,” says Michael Yates, formerly of Harlem and now living in Los Angeles.

“I’ll miss it. I’m sure the new version of the inside will look fantastic and modern and have a pleasant aroma. Old style Webster Hall was my first immersion into NYC’s EDM scene at the time. It was a place that was magical in the dark, probably because it would look awful when illuminated by sunlight.”

websterhall Having our friend @Halsey visit for an intimate show in the The Studio at Webster Hall tonight before we close for renovations in August. Stay tuned for more surprise shows leading up till then!

The venue, Yates continues, is a “perfect example” of New York City’s infrastructure.

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A film noir spy thriller set in NYC during the era of anti-Communist paranoia, with many NYC themes, including the fact that the pivotal act of the film involves a pickpocketing in the NYC subway system.

from Film Forum’s webpage about their current screenings of Pickup On South Street:

(1953) “Are you waving the flag at me?,” sneers pickpocket Richard Widmark at cops and Feds on the trail of that microfilm he’s lifted on the subway from Jean Peters’ purse — after all, she was messengering it, albeit unwittingly, to the REDS! But then, in Widmark’s world, “Who cares? Your money’s as good as anybody else’s”; while professional snitch Thlema Ritter thoughtfully pulls out a price chart when called on for a fingering. (This was Ritter’s fourth straight Supporting Actress Oscar nomination —her sixth was for Birdman of Alcatraz; she never won.) Peters herself — soon to be Mrs. Howard Hughes in real life — is everybody’s patsy, blackmailed into the mule deal by sweaty ex-“boyfriend” Richard Kiley with promise of a clean final breakup, robbed twice, cold-cocked, hit with a beer-in-the-face wakeup call, and rag-dolled around an apartment; and shot. But finally, as Ritter says, “Even in our crummy line of business, you gotta draw the line somewhere.” Vintage Fuller hard-boiled pulp, with final chin-bouncing-on-each-step subway station showdown. (Released the year Stalin died, Pickup’s Cold War attitudes horrified Gallic Fuller fans; in the French dubbing, the whole thing was changed to a drug deal.) Approx. 80 min. DCP.


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