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DANNY'S BAR, 141 CHRISTOPHER STREET, (NORTH EAST CORNER OF GREENWICH STREET), It is now the Harmony Bookstore/Boothstore, but in the 70's it was Danny's bar. There was always sawdust on the broken black and white mosaic tiled floors. Large wrap around windows overlooking Christopher Street made it a popular spot for boy watching. It was never very clean, or so it seemed because the whole bar, including the bathrooms smelled like a urinal... not unlike amonia. In the early '80's it became a more upscaled bar called, "The Village Stix." It featured a fireplace built in the front windows and tried to attract "a better crowd." Competition from Ty's was too much, it shortly closed.

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ALEX IN WONDERLAND/THE AS*TRICK, ___WEST STREET (AT 13TH STREET), This building has had many different venues in it, but it started life as a meatpacking plant (as most buildings in this neighborhood did). In the '70's the first and second floors were Alex In Wonderland, a afterhours disco, with a backroom upstairs. The second floor of Alex, contained a very dark, and seemingly carpeted backroom (I'm not sure if it actually was carpeted, or just felt like it from all the detrius). In the basement was The As*trick, which was a sex club, complete with slings, jailcells, and all of those fun gizmos. ****In the 80's it was Mars, run by club impesario Rudloph (of the Danceteria). Mars, was a five floor disco, that was popular with a younger, trendier crowd. The third floor was my favorite, it featured an entire wall made up of hundreds of oozing Lava Lamps.****Until just recently it was called the Vault, and as friends of mine call it, it had become the Planet Hollywood of sex clubs. They had a huge billboard on the highway advertising their location. The building was condemned and was demolition in 2000.

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THE HELLFIRE CLUB/THE MANHOLE CLUB, 28 NINTH AVENUE, (BETWEEN 13TH AND 14TH STREETS), The site of the original (infamous) Hellfire (a straight s/m sex club), just around the corner and downstairs from J's Hangout. For a time in the early 90's was known as the Vault/Cellblock. This underground, damp, and cavernous space was in the 80's a notorious sex club (and still is, to some degree; though "Safe Sex Only" rules apply now). Malcom Forbes was rumoured to frequent the different party nights. On Certain days it went by the name of Hellfire, and was basically a straight crowd. On other nights it was Manhole, and was strictly a gay venture. But either nights one could partake in many group scenes complete with public floggings, w/s or enjoy the slings that were a staple of this joint.

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Walt Whitman PFAFF'S BEER HALL, 653 BROADWAY (NEAR BLEEKER STREET), Popular in the 1840's and '50's, Charlie Pfaff operated this beer cellar, that was frequented by the like of Walt Whitman. In order to enter Pfaff's, you went down a set of unlevel stairs, that lead into a vaulted ceiling bar and restaurant. Whitman, held court here nightly, in this dimly lit and smoky bar, always surrounded by young admirers, while seated at a little round table. A Walt Whitman poem went:

"The vault at Pfaff's where drinkers &
laughers meet to eat and carouse;
while on the walk immediately
overhead was the myriad feet of Broadway."
By the Civil War, Pfaff's heyday was over, tourists would stop in to see the "odd folks." ****Today the space is occupied by a veggie market/deli.

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Front Door to Sneakers SNEAKERS, 392 WEST STREET, (BETWEEN CHRISTOPHER AND WEST 10TH STREET), This funny little building sometimes known as the "Oyster House," according to some people started life as part of the Oyster Market, (on Weehawken Street). Or, it was the original Christopher Street Ferry House, when it stood directly on the water. It is known that it was built in 1848 by George Munson, a boat builder. So others call it the Munson Building. Either way it was one of a row of five, now the lone surviver. In 1945 sea captain George A. Hunt owned the Building and ran a shop in what now is Sneakers. He sold clothes, canvas gloves, tobacco (what was then known as "segars"-cigars) and assorted odds and ends needed by seafarers. ****Sneakers has been here since the early '70's. And has always attracted an interesting mix of customers. Until recently they had bingo nights that were popular with the regulars.

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LE JARDIN, 40 WEST EIGHTH STREET, (BETWEEN SIXTH AND MAC DOUGAL) , As my friend DeeDee has reminded me, " Le Jardin was originally or at least before hand a Latino and black club known as the Bon Soir. That was in the mid '70's. I was going there when I came out in '75. Not only was it a dance club which though small was really jumping with the hottest music around (In my view a precursor to the Paradise Garage. It was here the Gay Mafia Elite (yes believe it or not there was one) came to find their boy of the moment. " (Thanks DeeDee!) It then became Le Jardin that was own/run by South African National, John Addison, who would later go on to open Bond's International Casino in Times Square (and the Union Club in the old Luchow's Restaurant on 14th Street in Union Square - 1983) Le Jardin, was the upper crust of the danceclubs of it's day. It attracted a very cosmopolitan crowd, a few years before Studio 54. The site is still a club, tucked away downstairs, and hidden from view from most strollers down 8th Street.

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Image: Disco (Pub. 1978) THE LIMELIGHT, 95 SEVENTH AVENUE SOUTH, (SOUTH OF SHERIDAN SQUARE), Over a decade before Peter Gatien opened The Limelight in a church on Sixth Avenue, there was The Limelight in Greenwich Village. In what is today Pennyfeathers Cafe, was in the late '50's and early 60's an intimate neighborhood art gallery/coffee house/restaurant/ bar. Owned by Helen Gee; who documents The Limelight in her informative book Limelight: A Greenwich Village Photography Gallery and Coffeehouse in the Fifties, a Memoir.

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Lesbian and Gay Community Center THE LESBIAN AND GAY COMMUNITY SERVICES CENTER, 208 WEST 13TH STREET, (BETWEEN SEVENTH AND EIGHTH AVENUE), (212) 620-7310. This building constructed in 1844 as the Food and Maritime Trades High School was converted, and restored as The Lesbian and Gay Community Center. More than 300 groups call it home. It recently (July 2001) re-opened after being closed for 2 years for a major (well needed) renovation. It now has a beautiful circular staircase in the loby. And many other much needed updates. Vist the Center website.

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