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‘Downtown Was My Heaven’: Generations of Performers Revisit Club 57

L-R: Holly Hughes, Moe Angelos, Martha Wilson, Carmelita Tropicana (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Last Thursday, the theater at MoMA went back to the 20th century when Performing Difference: Gender in the 1980s Downtown Scene, a day of panel discussions presented in conjunction with the exhibit “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983.”, took over one of the museum’s spacious screening rooms.

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20 Photos to Mark the 10 Years Since CBGB Closed

Bettie Ringma and Ramones (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Bettie Ringma and Ramones (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

David Byrne

David Byrne

Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Nancy Spungen, Bettie Ringma, and Sable Starr (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Nancy Spungen, Bettie Ringma, and Sable Starr (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Richard Hell (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Richard Hell (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Jody Beach of The Erasers (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Jody Beach of The Erasers (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Levi and the Rockats (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Levi and the Rockats (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Voidoids

Voidoids

Richard Hell of the Voidoids (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Richard Hell of the Voidoids (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Talking Heads and Bettie Ringma (Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Talking Heads and Bettie Ringma (Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Talking Heads and Bettie Ringma (Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Patti Smith and Bettie Ringma (Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Patti Smith and Bettie Ringma (Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Bettie Ringma and Legs McNeil (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Bettie Ringma and Legs McNeil (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Bad Brains (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Bad Brains (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Bettie Ringma with Curt Hoppe's painting

Bettie Ringma with Curt Hoppe's painting "Bettie and the Ramones" (Photo by Curt Hoppe)

Tish and Snooky Bellomo of Manic Panic (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Tish and Snooky Bellomo of Manic Panic (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Joey Ramone (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Joey Ramone (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Bettie Ringma with The Dead Boys (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

Bettie Ringma with The Dead Boys (Photo by Marc Miller and Bettie Ringma)

The last week of shows at CBGB in 2006 (photo courtesy of Gallery 98)

The last week of shows at CBGB in 2006 (photo courtesy of Gallery 98)

The last week of shows at CBGB's in 2006 (photo courtesy of Gallery 98)

Smutty Smiff of Levi and the Rockats (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Smutty Smiff of Levi and the Rockats (Photo by Emily Armstrong)

Ten years ago this Saturday– on Oct. 15, 2006– CBGB shut its doors after one last show by Patti Smith. To mark the anniversary, you could buy a $98 CBGB t-shirt at John Varvatos or hit the CBGB food stand at Newark airport. Or you could click through these photos taken by some of the folks who documented the club during its heyday.

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This Time Capsule Shows the East Village Shopping Scene of 30 Years Ago

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 8.14.22 AMJust about 30 years ago to this day — on August 6, 1984 — New York published a shopper’s guide to the East Village that we’ve reprinted at the bottom of this page. At the time, the East Village was “a bastion of small, independent businesses” and “tiny shops exuding fresh ideas,” from the St. Mark’s Bookshop (which, back then, was actually on St. Marks Place) to the fashion designers whose “new New York couture” was influenced by the neighborhood’s “enormous energy and creativity.”

And yet the neighborhood was also “under siege by speculators.” Author Linda Dyett warned that “many of the small, independent shops (both old and new) are in danger of disappearing,” and indeed most of them vanished soon after she sung their praises. But others have hung on against all odds. We took an accounting of the survivors and the sinkers, to find out just how much has changed in the past three decades.
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