A small band of Takeittothebridge musicians demonstrated last week in front of the John Varvatos store opening in the space that was once CGBG's. It was a davey-vs.-goliath, spontaneous protest, but ended up hitting a nerve and getting some positive coverage in the press and real dialogue.
The John Varvatos store sells USED leather jackets for $1600, and t- shirts for $130. Converse sneakers -- the sneakers of all the poor kids in the neighborhood where I grew up - - are $110 dollars there, specially branded by Varvatos himself. Pants are $800.
We want to go out again tomorrow, to greet the glitterati who show up for the store's official opening night. We hope you will join us!
This is an historic moment to NOT be silent about your music and your artistic community being co-opted to sell luxury goods.
This is not about one music space, or just about cb's, or whether you thought Hilly was a good businessman or not, or whether you gigged there - - but it is about the type of intense gentrification being used to sell the Lower East Side; it is about the co-opting of culture to sell overpriced luxury goods. This is about small music and cultural and community spaces getting pushed out of the city, so that the wealthy can position themselves as saving it (or just the buildings) ... but in fact, only using it as a marketing tool for their unaffordable wares.
Please meet us on the southwest corner of the Bowery and Bleeker Streets at 9:30 pm sharp! We'll have more humorous (and pointed) neon pink signs...PLEASE RSVP and let us know you will come and STAND WITH US AT THIS AWARENESS EVENT... help let nyc know that you want REAL music spaces to stay in NYC - - not gigs where you have to be a shill for $800 pants.
Norman and Rebecca