It would be disingenuous for me to get nostalgic about the demise of CBGB‘s last year – I only went there three times in the past 11 years, as far as I can recall. But like so much in NYC, when you live here with young kids, you not so much go to all these places any more, as live vicariously through those that do. And just knowing that they’re there if and when you need them, all conveniently close by (a bit like a pharmacy if you live in the suburbs, but we have those too!) is some comfort.
Except when they disappear, of course.
And so walking up the largely-gentrified Bowery with the lad the other week, we passed this:
The graffiti says something like ’20 years ago we were all sedated….CBGBs forever!!’ because of the strong links with the Ramones. The corner of Bowery & 2nd St is now called ‘Joey Ramone Place’.
Not much of a fan of the Ramones either – always struck me as even more rehashed 50s rock n roll than the Sex Pistols, without the upfront anger and dark humor of the latter.
But again, knowing it was there was comforting, in an urban-vitality kind of way.
But interesting to note that about 9 months later, they haven’t rented it out to anyone else. Perhaps the cleaning took longer than expected?
UPDATE: I had no idea when I posted this that CBGB’s founder & owner Hilly Kristal had just died, in fact it was announced today more or less at the same time I posted it. I took the photo more than a month ago. Now there’s a coincidence. Or something.