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HouseofJules

The music synced with the video has that carnival sound, along with what seems to be happily tweeting birds, not unlike Disney movies. Bleak is right! When I lived in NYC, I got to see both the seedy side of Times Square along with the eventual Disneyization of it, and I can see what you're saying about pre-Lion King being the good old days. Well, maybe that's taking it a little far, but there was nothing more depressing than walking around Times Square in the late 90's with visiting friends and being completely, totally, utterly safe. Not a threat in sight, nor a thrill for that matter. In fact, there were more policemen on the sidewalks than tourists at that hour.
Jules
House of Jules

dean

jesus christ. I too am more than a little guilty of reminiscing over pre-touristy Times Square (hello Gaiety), but this sort of douses that wishful dreaming.

Brandon H

Is that what native New Yorkers want the city to return to? I'm all for preserving history but some things just have to go. I thought that's what New York was built on... change. It's odd that there are people out there that confuse crime with culture.

Bridget

Wow. That was so depressing to watch. Who would ever want to go back to that??

Steve Abramson

I didn't view the clip based on how you described it Rich - but your first paragraph brought me down memory lane.

While it might have been towards the "end" of the great Times Square era, I remember as a gay teen going to the Adonis theatre just north of T.S. back in '87/'88 - nothing says "times are a changin" when I think about how the last time I went there it made me ill seeing the Disney transformation...

C'mon - what teenage boy in N.Y. didn't enjoy going one block in that area without
1) Getting a skuzzy prostitute hitting you up
2) Getting a skanky drug drealer hitting you up
3) Being able to go into one of the adult bookstores and get your cock sucked through a glory hole (they should put a glory hole in the Smithsonian since they've becoming virtually extinct like the dinosaur).

Such good times... is it any wonder I now live in Vegas; the city of sin?

Steve Abramson

Oh - P.S. - Museum of Sex???????????

Only in New York (I seriously had to google it to believe it with my own eyes).

In Vegas we get Elvis and Liberace museums... I want a sex museum dammit!!! (Hell I'll volunteer to be the living gay man exhibit hehe)

Laurie

Only in New York my ass. Miami has its very own [url=http://www.weam.com/]sex museum[/url], as opened by a little old lady. Seriously.

BradOFarrell

I recently started reading Watchmen. It's set in 80s New York, in an alternate reality where early super hero comics inspired masked costume vigilante justice. No one actually has super powers (with a single exception) they're just people who are disgusted with humanity. But the irony is, a lot of them have their own sick reasons for wanting to fight crime--it's implied that many of them are sadists, and just get off on beating up strangers.

The main character, Rorschach, wears a mask of a shifting inkblot test. The plot focuses on the murder of a former vigilante hero, 'The Comedian', and the more it reveals about his past, the more despicable he comes. It's funny because (so far, I haven't finished it) there are no real villains in the story, and the heroes themselves are no less depraved than the people they are fighting.

"Beneath me, this awful city, it screams like an abattoir full of retarded children. New York."

Anyway, if you haven't read it, you should pick it up. I recently purchased it at Midtown Comics, which is pretty appropriate. It's also next door to my office.

Also, they're making it into a movie, but you probably knew that: http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/watchmen/

Maria

Wow. Dude didn't die? He looked dead. I was hoping they'd show him get up and walk away before the clip ended.

And I must agree with the commentator before me - The Watchmen is amazing. And ties in well with this post. :)

soulbrotha

If you notice, the guy in the tan jacket retrieves the man's wallet and gives it back to the victim.

Miss Lisa

A lot of NYC in the early 80s was hellish--and even worse after crack. I got to watch it happen as I'd visit my friends in various neighborhoods over the years. Parts of Brooklyn would go from run-down but livable, to really fucking dangerous, day or night. Cops told me about drug-dealer apartments that were booby-trapped with axes that would fall on you if you tried to crawl through the windows (triggered by fishing line). Whee!

You can see some 70s-era Times Square in "Born to Win" starring George Segal as a junkie(!) I don't know how available this 1971 movie is, but it's bleak and seems to capture a downer druggie era. As opposed to an upper druggie era.

Leanne

My boyfriend and I are of a considerable age difference, and I'm constantly bitching about the sugaryness of Times Square now, but as a Latino in the 70's-80's, he's not reminiscing over rape, crack, robberies, etc, but just the raw grittiness of it all. He was a "bomber" in the subways (graffiti writer) with Lady Pink and Keith Haring. He hung out at block parties and scratch sessions with Afrika Bambataa and the like. No one from the b-boy/dj/art/gay era of those times misses the dirt and violence, but the energy and ideas flowing from every corner of the city. There was excitement that anything could happen and new cultures were forming. What my 20-something generation wants is more richness and excitement and hope in our lives that creativity is still evolving like in the 70's and 80's...that we're not going to keep living in a world where The Hills and My Super Sweet Sixteen is considered "edgy." If that's going to happen I say bring back glory holes!!!

MsKit2u

I totally want to see Doin Time in Times Square now.

Now for the real purpose of my post (I thought I'd post on topic first. ;) )

I LOVE today's hoodie and I totally buying one as soon as I get my credit card from g/friend who holds on to it to prevent me from making JUST such purchases. I'll convince her anyway.

lol

Fredo

What this makes me think of is Dennis Cooper's 5-part series, "The George Miles Chronicles." I'm sure some have read them, but if you have not, it's some fucked up shit about sex, mutalation, death, and much more. After reading the series, I read that these stories were Cooper's way of dealing with his own feelings of violence and sex with this other man. Do we really want our desires or anti-desires? And what happens when we get them?

Growing up in a gang-filled neighborhood in Chicago, I have been slight witness to some bad shit. I mean, I grew up with a great family that sheltered me from that a bit, and it was never to the extreme of that video, but I know I am tired of gang violence. However, as my neighborhood is under gentrification, I know what it is to want a realness back. Maybe that's what that glamor might be?

That also brings me to a different point. Why do you continue to live in the past? I mean, even with the internet, I find that we just save the past and keep living it in our heads. Are things really that bad in the present? Is is just human nature?

Rain

And don't forget the 1980 gem "Times Square" about a pair of misfit girls fighting against the Times Square clean-up. Features Tim Curry as a DJ.

Here's the trailer.

To be fair, I think it's probably easier to be nostalgic for a time/place like 70s' Times Square when you haven't really lived through it.

For every sleazoid celebration, there's a Midnight Cowboy or a Travis Bickle that reminds me to relish my safe, yuppie life.

Though I admit, the Times Square Olive Garden is a bit much.

Trevor "Saint Nightwalker" Valle

COOLEST. VID. EVAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

watching it hasm ade me so horny that I whipped out my 1" cock and started flogging it until I jizzed all over the keyboard and monitor and then I licked off all of the jizz. Now I'm going to go shoot up some horse and then come back and watch the vid over and over and over again, jacking off whilst doing so.

Leah

I was at that MoSex screening too. The whole documentary/fake documentary thing was sketchy. Even after Paul Stone's Q&A session, I walked away being a bit confused. Paul kept referring to it as a "documentary," and it's been marketed as a documentary. But like you said, it's all new footage, since there's apparently not enough authentic footage from back then. So it's NOT a documentary--it's a dramatization. The whole thing seemed somewhat misleading.

rhino

A memory from pre-Guiliani NYC... I visited the city with my family around 1985... I was seven years old... We went to Washington Square Park. We were walking around and every step we took there were sounds like we were stepping on glass... I looked down and picked something up. It was a crack vial. There were literally millions of small crack vials CARPETING the park. You could not take a step without smashing one.

studpup

I don't know what it says about me, but having been a kid in NYC in the 80s, that video didn't seem all that bleak to me. That's probably not a good thing though... :\

growler

I used to live in Hell's Kitchen, pre-gentrification. Times Square was a hellhole. When you walked west on 42 Street, as soon as you crossed over Seventh Ave. you could feel a cloud of soul-sucking evil and sadness envelop you. The ONLY thing I miss about those days is that you could walk sidewalks relatively free of all those fucking tourists.

mariaaaaa

Posted by: Rain | August 20, 2008 at 02:12 PM, RE: movie "Times Square"

omg I loved that movie! Great soundtrack (Gary Numan, Roxy Music...) and its stars the actress I call the pre-Jolie. She was the beta Angelina Jolie.

I can see the nostalgia for earthy/seedy as opposed to cynical corporate Disneyfication, but the truth is that dealing with a street that resembles the Dawn of the fucking Dead is no fun. Market Street in SF had a few grindhouse movie theaters. I remember cutting school to go to see an Andy Warhol triple feature at the Strand. The Strand is no longer but Market Street remains a fucking shithole. Although I do not wish for a Times Square II, it would be nice if it didn't resemble and smell like Night of the Living Dead (braaaaaiiiins.)

Nikita Tinypaws

Man, that is bleak! Was the guy dead?? At the very least there were concerned strangers to get him out of the street and dump a few buckets of water on him. Lordy.

Nonplussed

It wasn't just Times Square it was all over the island in surprising places. Yes I remember the hookers, the hustler bars, all that City of Night, John Rechy filhy gorgeous glamour shit and it was exciting and it was terrifying and everyone had an attitude because the only way to keep them off you was to seem even crazier and more dangerous than they. It was not that long ago and it was a world away, gay was an underground culture, not a market demographic and it was exhausting then, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

liz

I, too, am just old enough to remember Times Square pre-Disney, and I think the only reason why it's remembered so *fondly* is because the Disneyfied Times Square is also such an extreme in the other way, with no personaity whatsoever.

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