Recent Posts in NYC - Page 3

August 8, 2014


As you may have heard, iconic midtown dive bar Subway Inn is supposed to close after 77 years of slinging booze on August 15. (They have to be out of the space by 8/20.) That may not be the end of the story, hopefully, if the bar's owners can help it. They have launched a petition to keep it open:

If you have not heard yet, World-Wide Holdings Corporation who owns our building, and who is worth multi- billions of dollars has decided that our beloved establishment, The Subway Inn which has been a part of this neighborhood for more than 77 years MUST CLOSE BY AUGUST 20th so that high-end, luxury condos can be built on our spot.

We the undersigned believe that New York City is about more than rich investors gobbling up small family businesses to make a quick buck thereby destroying the integrity of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We call on lawmakers and concerned New Yorkers to STAND UP to these actions, and to stop World-Wide Holdings Corporation from destroying our home and ripping it away from those who helped build this city and who would never be able to afford the multi-million dollar condos that they are planning to put in place of a neighborhood treasure.

There is also an Indiegogo fundraising campaign:
Our donation is crucial and will mean the difference between the doors remaining open or the wrecking ball destroying our beloved DIVE Bar. Don't let Subway Inn become another statistic --where rich investors looking for a quick buck destroy a place where we as a diverse community come together as one. We are Black, White, Hispanic and many other nationalities. We are Gay, Straight, Bi, Rich and Poor. We are Union, Non-Union and all Hardworking. We are employed and unemployed. We are Young and Old. We are women and we are men that know what is right. We are what makes our city the most interesting place in the world to live.
Additionally, the Salinas family that owns Subway Inn has made a short film about their bar and efforts to save it which you can watch below...

Continue reading "Subway Inn fighting to stay open, launches petition and crowdfunding campaign (video)"

August 7, 2014

the new Max Fish / EL-P at 'Arkitip' party (via @jammy_york / Max Fish Facebook)

When last we posted, it looked like Lower East Side bar Max Fish was heading to Williamsburg after losing their lease on Ludlow St. But the bar instead ended up staying in the LES, moving to Orchard St betweeen Delancey/Stanton, had a soft opening on Friday (8/1) and officially began pouring drinks on Saturday (8/2). Last night (8/6), they hosted a party for Arkitip Magazine's latest issue which is devoted to the bar. El-P was there as you can see above and you can watch a short Arkitip documentary on Max Fish below.

As for what the new space is like, Bowery Boogie stopped by:

While the location is different, some elements of the overall vibe remain intact. For instance, lights on at night and the musty environment of sweat and body odor.

The illuminated cigarette and statue of "Bobby" both returned to the entrance.

Gothamist notes that the pool table is still in storage and the basement bar is not open yet. Has anyone been yet? We're glad to hear they stayed in the Lower East Side.

Continue reading "Max Fish stayed in Lower East Side, now open on Orchard, featured in new issue of 'Arkitip' magazine (video)"

July 25, 2014

by Wyatt Marshall


Sad news for Upper West Siders of the no-collar persuasion: Ding Dong Lounge, the punked-out dive bar and venue at 106th and Columbus, is closing on Thursday, July 31 after 13 years in business. The bar will be relocating to an as-yet undisclosed location.

From an announcement on Ding Dong Lounge's website:

Like so many other unique New York City businesses, the Ding has lost its lease, despite having the highest sales in its 13 year history and being named the Best Cheap Manhattan Dive by both the Village Voice (link added - ed.) and Gothamist.

This is not the end of the Ding, as we will be relocating & reopening in the near furture (watch this space for details). However, for right now, please come out to show some love and say goodbye to our beloved Ding Dong Lounge during our last days at the Columbus Ave & 106 St. location.

We love you all!

Ding Dong Lounge was a grungy oasis for people looking for a no-frills place for cheap drinks in an otherwise pretty bleak part of town where forgettable, overcrowded bars are the norm. As mentioned above, the bar received accolades for being the best dive in Manhattan -- not bad for a place not much further than a stone's throw from Columbia University. Good music and colorful staff -- which allegedly included a stuntman who was, among other interesting gigs, a weapon specialist in Mortal Kombat (the movie) -- helped make the place great. Ding Dong DJ/doorman Chris should be familiar to patrons of The Acheron, where he also works. Mark, thank you for all the drinks.

The space played host to hundreds of shows, typically of the somewhat-underground indie/punk variety, and had a number of weekly regular events. One memorable show for me was headlined by the experimental noise rock band White Suns, who just played Summerscreen. The opening band was a three-piece named Bob Crusoe, an absurdist "guitar," drums and off-key trumpet (I think) band that delivered one of the most ridiculous performances I've ever seen -- pure cacophony, with nonsense lyrics/noises that were alternatively spoken and hysterically screamed over one of the worst improv sets of all time. Lots of rolling around on the ground. A+.

It's been a bad week for NYC dives. The Ding Dong Lounge will be missed. Here's to a quick reopening.


A new public art installation may make some Bronx residents wait for the bus a little more musical. Appropriately named, the "Boogie Down Booth" sits on the street below the Freeman Street station in South Bronx, and provides a 24/7 spot to hear local music. Folks waiting for the bus can sit and listen to a 17-song curated playlist that is piped out (not too loud) on speakers. The playlist currently includes tracks from Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun, and rap group Circa '95.

A collaboration between the Design Trust for Public Space and NYC's Department of Transportation, the Boogie Down Down is part of the Under The Elevated initiative, which aims to make city space below transportation infrastructure more useful (or interesting).

July 24, 2014

(photo via @m_del)

More vanishing New York. This time iconic, unironic midtown NYC dive bar Subway Inn. Via their Facebook:

Subway Inn Patrons,

As you might know, Subway Inn was established in 1937, and has been proudly serving customers since.

We are sad to inform you that Subway Inn will be closed for business on or about the 15th of August. That's not to say we aren't opening another location. Subway Inn WILL relocate.

Follow Us for further details.


As it says, the neon goes dark sometime next month.

July 11, 2014

by Bill Pearis


My first apartment in NYC was on Third Ave between 27th and 28th, and at the time my friend Jason was in an alt-country band. Between the two, I spent a lot of time at the Rodeo Bar, one of the few places that consistently booked country music in Manhattan. (Rockabilly and folk too.) It was also the filming location of Lou Barlow's infamous interview on MTV's Sex in the '90s which some of you may remember. (You would think a clip of this would be online somewhere.) I haven't been there in a few years, but was sad to hear this:

Dear Rodeo Bar patrons and music lovers,

We are deeply saddened to announce that after 27 years in business, Rodeo Bar and Grill is closing its doors after July 27, 2014.

Here at New York's longest-running honky-tonk, we stayed open during some of the city's toughest times -- Hurricane Sandy, the 2003 blackout, 9/11 -- but recent rent increases, combined with a changing landscape, have made it impossible for us continue.

For the past three decades, Rodeo Bar has been home to thousands of bands, and we're proud to have helped define the country, Americana and rockabilly scene in New York City for all these years. But more than that, we were supported by an incredible community of people from New York and all over the world who helped make this bar great. We can't thank y'all enough.

For the rest of July, we're open every night, and the music schedule is killer -- and free, as it always has been. So come on down and join us for every show, every Shiner, and every moment with the horse trailer we call home. We're going out with our boots on.

Much Love, and Until the Buffalo Sings,

Rodeo Bar

The NYC Real Estate market is no joke these days. As the note mentions, The Rodeo Bar will be open until July 27 with free music every night. Tonight (7/11) it's guitarist Joe Taino. Sorry to see you go, Rodeo Bar. Its remaining live schedule below...

Continue reading "NYC's Rodeo Bar closing at the end of July"

July 10, 2014

Peter Spear Missing

Peter Spear, 28, of Brooklyn band Empty Chairs is missing. He was last seen July 6 at Stewarts in Pine Plains, NY. If anyone has any information, a Facebook page has been set up. We hope he is found soon.

July 3, 2014


The 4th of July means fireworks, and Macy's annual extravaganza is back on the East River for the first time in five years. This year's display is in honor of the 200th anniversary of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and will use some 50,000 pounds of explosives launched from the Brooklyn Bridge and barges below on the water. They should start around 9 PM. Obviously, anywhere with an unobstructed view of the sky is a good place to watch -- like say a friend's roof -- but there are designated public viewing sections on the elevated portions of FDR Drive with the following entry points:


Montgomery & South Streets: From the north (viewing along the FDR between Manhattan Bridge and Montgomery Street).

Brooklyn Bridge entry from St. James Place (Pearl Street) & Wagner Place (viewing both north & south of the Brooklyn Bridge).

Broad Street and/or Old Slip at Water Street (viewing between Heliport & south side of Brooklyn Bridge

ADA viewing area: Murray Bergtraum High School track and field facility, at the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Use the entrance at Market & Cherry Streets.

NOTE: Piers 15-17 are not public viewing areas.


Brooklyn Bridge Park (piers 1-6): enter on Old Fulton & Furman Street, Joralemon Street & Furman Street or Atlantic Avenue & Furman Street.

Brooklyn Bridge Promenade: enter on Columbia Heights & Pineapple Street, Montague Street & Pierrepont Street or Pierrepont Street & Remsen Street.

The following pedestrian streets will be closed to all non-emergency vehicle traffic:

• Montague Street: from Court Street to Montague Terrace
• Remsen Street from Court Street to Montague Terrace
• Old Fulton Street from Hicks Street to Furman Street
• Furman Street from Old Fulton Street to Atlantic Avenue
• Columbia Heights from Montague Street to Old Fulton Street
• Hicks Street from Atlantic Avenue to Old Fulton Street

There will also be fireworks in Coney Island on the Fourth, following the Brooklyn Cyclones game.

July 1, 2014

Dylan-scribbled notes on 'New Morning' acetate

Bob Dylan fans, take note, a treasure trove of never-before-heard early/alternate/unfinished versions of songs from Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning were recently discovered via 149 acetates found in a closet at 124 W. Houston St. That building once housed a ground-floor studio where Dylan recorded from 1969 - 1972. The two boxes of acetates was labeled "Old Records" and untouched for 40 years. Record Mecca's Jeff Gold details some of the finds:

We discovered many of the acetates were unreleased versions of songs, in some cases with different overdubs, sometimes without any overdubs, many with different mixes, different edits and in a few cases completely unreleased and unknown versions. There are outtakes too, including electric versions of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and "Folsom Prison Blues" recorded during the Self Portrait sessions, and a gospel tinged version of "Tomorrow is Such a Long Time" recorded during the New Morning sessions.

These 149 acetates provide a remarkable look into Dylan's working process at the time. Dylan recorded Nashville Skyline in Nashville; Self Portrait in Nashville and New York and New Morning almost entirely in New York. Dylan's producer at the time, Bob Johnston, worked out of Columbia Records' Nashville studios. These acetates were for the most part cut in Nashville and sent by Johnston to Dylan in New York for his comments and approval.

If you're not sure exactly what an acetate is beyond "some kind of record," Gold explains...

Acetates are individually cut on a lathe in real time, in a process that is basically the reverse of playing a record. A blank aluminum disc coated in lacquer is put on a turntable, and the master tape of a recording is played, the signal of which is sent to a heated needle which cuts a groove into into the revolving disc. Acetates are made so an artist or producer can listen to a recording that is a work-in-progress; they can be played on a regular turntable, but after 20 or 30 plays the sound quality begins to deteriorate.
You can read and see more about the Dylan acetates over at Record Mecca and they have a few for sale as well, including an alternate version of "Nashville Skyline" priced at $7000.

June 30, 2014

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Pride March 2014
Pride March 2014
Pride March 2014

...Khaki shirts, olive pants and rainbow neckerchiefs: the Boy Scout uniform, pride-style -- a uniform that had never been seen on a group of marchers in New York City's pride parade before.

They had come to mark progress -- the Boy Scouts of America's breakthrough vote last year to end a decades-old policy of prohibiting openly gay youths from being scouts -- and to call for more. However, the organization, a touchstone of traditional America, still bars openly gay adults from participating as troop leaders or volunteers. Ending that ban has become a signature cause for the gay-rights movement.

"I want gay parents to have the opportunity to scout with their children," said Greg Bourke, 56, who said he was forced to step down as a leader of his son's troop in Kentucky two years ago after local Scouts officials learned he was gay and threatened to revoke the troop's charter. "Adult leaders should have the same opportunities as everyone else has to take part in an organization that's a bedrock of America."

A Boy Scout wearing a rainbow neckerchief at the Gay Pride March. Credit James Estrin/The New York Times
As parade outfits go, the scouts' attire was among the tamest. Just ahead of them, one man's head bore a live parrot; another's back had sprouted enormous white wings. A third wore little more than a pair of red briefs spangled with gold medallions, and roller skates. - [NY Times]

Lots more pictures from the 2014 Gay Pride March below...

Continue reading "the 2014 Gay Pride March in pics (NSFW)"