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'People Loved It Loud': Rockers Recall Academy of Music and Palladium

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(Photo: the private collections of Jason Knox and Harold C. Black)

Built as a movie palace in 1927, the Academy of Music on East 14th Street, at Third Avenue, was a place where Lower East Siders would watch first-run features in grand style. Promoter Sid Bernstein, who brought the Beatles to America, understood the 3,000-seat hall’s potential: in the mid-1960s, he regularly booked British Invasion bands like the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and Herman’s Hermits there. Manfred Mann, on the charts with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” would share a bill with the Exciters, the American group that first recorded the tune to little notice.
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The Night Donald Trump Partied With a Porn Star

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Last night at Jue Lan Club, the Chinese restaurant inside of the former Limelight, we went upstairs to check out the club kids wallpaper and ended up ducking into the private dining room, where there’s a gallery of Tina Paul’s nightlife photos. Who should we find there but Donald Trump. Obviously not the real Donald Trump– he’s been busy crafting his inaugural address (from a receptionist’s desk?). No, this was a photo of The Donald at the opening of Club USA, congratulating owner Peter Gatien and his right-hand-man John Carmen. The snap was taken in 1992, about 11 years before the, um, deporation force sent Gatien back to Canada for tax evasion. (Yes, sometimes our friends across the northern border break the law.)

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Sit and Spin: FlyWheel Comes to 51 Astor and NYU Finally Squashes Coles

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

And there she is: on the heels of Chopt’s opening at 51 Astor this week, signage has gone up indicating that next month, Flywheel will move into the sleek new office building next month. New York City! Sinning is out and spinning is in.

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The Many Acts of the Academy of Music, a ‘Sanctum Sanctorum of High Culture’

This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

The Academy of Music, on 14th Street and Irving Place. (Image: public domain)

The Academy of Music, on 14th Street and Irving Place. (Image: public domain)

New York City publisher Horace Greeley considered the Academy of Music opera house so ugly that he is reported to have asked how much it would cost to burn the place down. “If the price is not unreasonable,” he is said to have declared, “have it done and send me the bill.” Greeley got his wish in 1866, but the opera was rebuilt. Fifty more years would pass before the Academy of Music — the largest opera in the world when it opened 1854 — was finally demolished.

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NYU Students Still Displaced, Will Get Free Dry Cleaning

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NYU’s Seventh Street Residence Hall, which was evacuated yesterday in the wake of the explosion just around the corner on Second Avenue, remains closed today, and it’s uncertain when students will be allowed back in. Same goes for a Second Avenue building used by Tisch students, located a block over from where three buildings collapsed during last night’s seven-alarm fire. Here’s the latest update from NYU, which has offered meal vouchers and dry-cleaning service.

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Building Collapses and Seven-Alarm Fire Rocks East Village

Three buildings have collapsed and a fourth is in flames after an apparent explosion in the East Village. Nineteen people — including five firefighters — have been injured and four have been hospitalized in critical condition, the fire department said.

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

An FDNY spokesperson couldn’t say what caused 121 Second Avenue to collapse around 3:15 p.m. this afternoon, but eyewitnesses reported hearing what sounded like an explosion. Flames from the building spread first to the adjacent building (123), which collapsed after the fire went to seven alarms, and then to 119 Second Avenue, on the corner of East Seventh Street. As of 10:30pm tonight, that building had also collapsed and firefighters were battling a fourth blaze at 125 Second Avenue.

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Marky Ramone On Life as a Ramone in the E. Village: ‘Everybody Was Psychedelized’

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

(Photo: Frank Mastropolo)

No band is more identified with the East Village than the Ramones. The band’s performances at Hilly Kristal’s CBGB and other neighborhood venues defined punk rock forever. In 2003, the corner of the Bowery and Second Street near CBGB was officially named Joey Ramone Place. Over time, members of the group lived, drank and hung out in the East Village.
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‘John’s of 12th Street’ Portrays Restaurant Life Sans Gordon Ramsay Hissy Fits

Last month during a taping of Knight Fight at The Gorbals, chef Ilan Hall faced off against Northern Spy Food Co.’s Pete Lipson. In the dining room above the Urban Outfitters store, feverish foodies ooed and ahead on cue as Hall revealed the night’s mystery ingredients. I can’t tell you more, because immediately upon arriving at the taping I beat a hasty retreat to Space Ninety 8’s rooftop bar where I hid out for the rest of the night.
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Help the Philippines: a Hackathon for Techies, a Drinkathon for Alkies

Outside of Jeepney. (Photo: Patrick Hogan)

Outside of Jeepney. (Photo: Patrick Hogan)

Post-typhoon reports from the Philippines look increasingly grim, and the country badly needs any help it can get. Does that include apps?

, an organization that holds talks and events promoting Filipino entrepreneurship, is hosting a disaster-relief hackathon on the Lower East Side this weekend.
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‘He Treads Kind of Softly’: Two Musicians Remember Working With Lou Reed

Genya Ravan with Lou Reed at Bottom Line. (Photo: Chuck Pulin)

Genya Ravan with Lou Reed at Bottom Line. (Photo: Chuck Pulin)

The leather jacket and moody persona were only a part of the puzzle that was Lou Reed. Musicians like Steve Katz of Blood Sweat & Tears and Genya Ravan of Ten Wheel Drive remember him as a friend with a wicked sense of humor and a gracious heart. Katz was the producer of Reed’s live album Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal and the rocker’s highest-charting LP, Sally Can’t Dance. Reed rarely performed on other artists’ albums, but he agreed to join Genya Ravan on “Aye Co’lorado”; Reed would later invite Ravan to sing on his “Street Hassle.

Bedford + Bowery today asked Katz and Ravan to share their memories of Lou Reed.
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A Look Back at the Electric Circus, the Greatest Show on St. Marks Place

ElectricCircus6Few nightclubs exemplified the excesses of the drug-fueled ‘60s like the Electric Circus. Trapeze artists, mimes and jugglers illuminated by pulsating strobe and black lights created a psychedelic atmosphere; predictably, the Circus became the club of choice to smoke pot and drop acid. But the Electric Circus also presented a powerhouse array of rock bands, many of who would become superstars: Sly and the Family Stone, Dr. John, Deep Purple and the Allman Brothers Band all played the Circus early in their careers.
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Sid Bernstein, Who Brought The Stones to the East Village, Has Died

(Photo: the private collections of Jason Knox and Harold C. Black)

Promoter Sid Bernstein will long be known as the man who brought the Beatles to America for their 1965 concert at Shea Stadium. But Bernstein, who died last Wednesday at age 95, also presented British Invasion groups like the Kinks and the Moody Blues at the Academy of Music, an aging East Village movie theater on East 14th Street at Third Avenue.
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