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long70s:

STUDIO 54: DIVINE DECADANCE

From 1943 to 1976, the former opera house at 254 W 54Th Street was owned by CBS and used as a production studio for To Tell the Truth, Beat the Clock and Captain Kangaroo. When the network moved to the Ed Sullivan Theatre, they sold the W 54th St building in 1976 to Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, who had the financial backing of Jack Dushey. In early 1977, Schrager and Rubell converted the the building into a nightclub/disco named for after the location’s previous use and street address. For the opening of Studio 54, a 4” layer of glitter was laid across the floors, which Schrager said was “like standing on stardust.” Weekend DJ Richie Kaczor, usually dressed injeans and t-shirt, manned the turntables; he turned Gloria Gaynor’s 1979 b-side “I Will Survive” into a #1 single by championing the song at Studio 54. The minimally-clad bartenders and busboys ensured many open bar tabs.

The clientele was a blend of A-list celebrities and beautiful, exhibitionist unknowns. The exclusivity of Studio 54 allowed celebrities to let loose without worries and the club quickly became a second home for the likes of Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor, Halston, Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones, Michael Jackson, Calvin Klein, Elton John, Tina Turner, Divine, Margaret Trudeau,Sylvia Miles, Francesco Scavullo, Truman Capote, Margaux Hemingway, Janice Dickinson, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Diana Ross, Cher, Salvador Dali, Diana Vreeland, John Travolta, Jacqueline Onassis, Brooke Shields and Martha Graham.

In December 1978, the coke-addled Rubell was quoted in the New York newspapers as saying the Studio 54 had made $7 million in its first year and that “only the Mafia made more money.” Shortly thereafter the nightclub was raided and Rubell and Schrager were arrested and charged with tax evasion; it was later revealed that they had failed to report over $2.5 million in revenue. They were the first people to be convicted of tax evasion for a single year. On 4 February 1980, with a guest list that included  Ryan O’Neal, Mariel Hemingway, Jocelyn Wildenstein, Richard Gere, Gia Carangi, Jack Nicholson, Reggie Jackson, and Sylvester Stallone celebrated their last night before entering prison where they each served 13-months.

Schrager and Rubell sold the building, leased it from the new owners and on 12 September 1981, Studio 54 re-opened with Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Cary Grant, Lauren Hutton, Gloria Vanderbilt and Brooke Shields in attendance. Although the club was popular in the early 1980s, the velvet rope policy had to be considerably relaxed, which drove the glamorous and the famous to other venues like Danceteria, Area, The Church and Nell’s.

profkew:

Helmeted New York City police carry away a rioter at West 130th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem on July 19, 1964.
New York’s ‘Night Of Birmingham Horror’ Sparked A Summer Of Riots

It was called “New York’s night of Birmingham horror.”
Just over two weeks after the landmark Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1964, violence erupted in the streets of New York City, lasting a total of six nights. It was the first in a series of riots that would come to define the later years of the 1960s civil rights movement. The New York City riot of 1964 electrified the nation and led to splits within the movement’s leadership.
It began outside the walls of a Harlem police station, days after Lt. Thomas Gilligan, a white, off-duty police officer, shot and killed a 15-year-old African-American student named James Powell on July 16. Two days of peaceful protests ensued. But on the third day, a crowd surrounded the police precinct, calling for Gilligan’s arrest, and was met with swinging clubs of the New York Police Department, under a rainfall of glass bottles and garbage can lids thrown by residents from rooftops above. Gunfire broke out after police pushed thousands of demonstrators back a few blocks toward the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.
Read more here.

profkew:

Helmeted New York City police carry away a rioter at West 130th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem on July 19, 1964.

New York’s ‘Night Of Birmingham Horror’ Sparked A Summer Of Riots

It was called “New York’s night of Birmingham horror.”

Just over two weeks after the landmark Civil Rights Act was signed into law in 1964, violence erupted in the streets of New York City, lasting a total of six nights. It was the first in a series of riots that would come to define the later years of the 1960s civil rights movement. The New York City riot of 1964 electrified the nation and led to splits within the movement’s leadership.

It began outside the walls of a Harlem police station, days after Lt. Thomas Gilligan, a white, off-duty police officer, shot and killed a 15-year-old African-American student named James Powell on July 16. Two days of peaceful protests ensued. But on the third day, a crowd surrounded the police precinct, calling for Gilligan’s arrest, and was met with swinging clubs of the New York Police Department, under a rainfall of glass bottles and garbage can lids thrown by residents from rooftops above. Gunfire broke out after police pushed thousands of demonstrators back a few blocks toward the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.

Read more here.

Pay It No Mind: Marsha P. Johnson

This feature-length documentary focuses on revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson, a Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, sex worker, starving actress, and Saint. “Pay It” captures the legendary gay/human rights activist as she recounts her life at the forefront of The Stonewall Riots in the 1960s, the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s, and a New York City activist throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. Through her own words, as well as interviews with gay activist/reporter Randy Wicker, former Cockettes performer Agosto Machado, author Michael Musto, Hot Peaches founder/performer, Jimmy Camicia, and Stonewall activists Bob Kohler, Danny Garvin, Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, and Martin Boyce, Marsha’s story lives on.

This documentary screened in 2012 at the IFC theater in New York, the British Film Institute in London, and La Mutinerie in Paris France.

I met Marsha Johnson in 1985 while visiting New York’s Gay Pride Parade with my first boyfriend. I was just twenty years old, it was my very first Pride celebration, and needless to say, Marsha made an huge impression on me.

I didn’t really know Marsha all that well, but feel fortunate that she and I chanced meeting twice again before she mysteriously died. Her joy for life was contagious.

I believe that people like Marsha, these innocents if you will, are put here to make the world a better place.

Happy Pride Month Everybody!

as posted on ADignorantium.WordPress

peterhujararchive:

Quentin Crisp on the New York Subway by Peter Hujar, 1982

 “The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.”- QC
 “There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”- QC
…and my personal favorite.
"Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It’s cheaper.”- QC
Quentin Crisp is my hero. :)
#LGBTthrowbackthursday

peterhujararchive:

Quentin Crisp on the New York Subway by Peter Hujar, 1982

“The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.”- QC

“There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”- QC

…and my personal favorite.

"Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It’s cheaper.”- QC

Quentin Crisp is my hero. :)

#LGBTthrowbackthursday

retrogasm:

The Crisco Twist

What we have here is a pic of the DJ booth at Crisco Disco, a notorious gay dance club located on West 15th st and 10th ave in Manhattan. (New York City’s meatpacking district)
I understand the building is now home to a sophisticated restaurant called Monarch. My have things changed. :P
There was a Crisco Disco album released that wasn’t as successful as the Studio54 album. It’s cover art was more than a little suggestive. If you have it, hold onto it. It’s probably worth a small fortune.
I’m not old enough to have visited Crisco’s, but I had friends who lovingly spoke of it and various other haunts. This image reminded me of them. :)

PS: I’m adding the following comment from VanishingNewYork because it captures the dissatisfaction I sometimes feel with the whitewashing of our cities’ nightlife. (I say ‘cities’ because it’s happening everywhere.)
Anonymous said… The city was once “open” and a lot more fun. Whether you are gay or not, the point is that in those days (everything prior to the mid-late 90’s) the city was more liberal. Now, everything is pretty much “sterilized” and totally boring. The clubs in those days had a cast of characters from the NYC of yesteryear. You had all classes of people (working class and blue collar to street types, to affluent) all mixing together for the sake of good times. I feel like when I go to a club (today) it’s like nobody is having fun…. (source)

retrogasm:

The Crisco Twist

What we have here is a pic of the DJ booth at Crisco Disco, a notorious gay dance club located on West 15th st and 10th ave in Manhattan. (New York City’s meatpacking district)

I understand the building is now home to a sophisticated restaurant called Monarch. My have things changed. :P

There was a Crisco Disco album released that wasn’t as successful as the Studio54 album. It’s cover art was more than a little suggestive. If you have it, hold onto it. It’s probably worth a small fortune.

I’m not old enough to have visited Crisco’s, but I had friends who lovingly spoke of it and various other haunts. This image reminded me of them. :)

PS: I’m adding the following comment from VanishingNewYork because it captures the dissatisfaction I sometimes feel with the whitewashing of our cities’ nightlife. (I say ‘cities’ because it’s happening everywhere.)

  • Anonymous said… The city was once “open” and a lot more fun. Whether you are gay or not, the point is that in those days (everything prior to the mid-late 90’s) the city was more liberal. Now, everything is pretty much “sterilized” and totally boring. The clubs in those days had a cast of characters from the NYC of yesteryear. You had all classes of people (working class and blue collar to street types, to affluent) all mixing together for the sake of good times. I feel like when I go to a club (today) it’s like nobody is having fun…. (source)

cognitivedissonance:

superlolita:

il-tenore-regina:

shakeshack:

Artist Nathan Pyle's gif guide to NYC street etiquette is handy for any city. Take it to the streets!

I love this.

PHILLY TOO!

EVERYWHERE, Get Out Of The Way, Damn It!!

AND… There’s a special place in hell for people who stop for any reason at the top of an escalator!

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Triangle Fire

"It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history. A dropped match on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sparked a fire that killed over a hundred innocent people trapped inside. The private industry of the American factory would never be the same." — PBS

A century later, and we’re still fighting for a living wage and decent working conditions. — ADignorantium

asteriskseverywhere:

Find out more about Transgender Day of Remembrance at www.transgenderdor.org

See the list of people who died because of anti-transgender violence in 2012.

My very first friend in the gay community was transgender. I had just come out. She said I looked like I was “delightfully lost” — as in I was having so much fun, that I absolutely did not want to be found. :)

She looked out for me - kept me out of trouble - made sure I didn’t get caught up with the wrong crowd.

The summer after we met, her charred and mutilated corpse was found wrapped in a black plastic trash bag, dumped by the side of I-95. Her’s was one of the many bodies of transgender persons found along the highway that summer. It was a sickening reminder of how much hate there is in our world.

Maybe it’s because of her that I don’t feel the need to judge everything I don’t understand. “Darling!” she used to say, “It’s not your job to understand. It just is.”

She had a way of putting things. Had she lived long enough, she would have laid claim to the phrase, “It is what it is.”

It’s important to remember that transgender folks played a huge part in LGBT history. Though not identified as transgender at the time, trans people made up a fair share of the crowd that fought police at the Stonewall in 1969. That crowd was made up primarily of outcasts; people who had little to lose — among them, drag queens, hustlers, homeless youth and transgender people.

It takes courage to change the world, and who has more courage than those that must defend themselves every single day of their lives? — ADignorantium

(Source: gendersintensify)