Daily photographs by HANS VON RITTERN, with humorous, artistic and social commentary on life in the big city.

Posts tagged “14th street

Mondays on Memory Lane: THE PALLADIUM DISCO 1986 “EVERY DAY IS GAY PRIDE DAY”

PALLADIUM BUILDING

Mondays on Memory Lane: THE PALLADIUM DISCO “EVERY DAY IS GAY PRIDE DAY” – June is world wide Gay Pride month. One of the last great dance palaces of the disco era was the grand Palladium which every Sunday catered to an almost all gay audience. Owned and operated by the former Studio 54 masterminds Ian Shrager and Steve Rubell. It was one of the last clubs I attended around 1986 before “it just wasn’t fun anymore.”

The Palladium was converted from a movie theater to a music venue and then into a nightclub. The famous duo hiredĀ  Danceteria DJ Richard Sweret, who saw the possibility of a much larger audience for a downtown New Wave, Euro and house music-oriented club. From its celebrity-studded opening in May 1985, through the end of the 1980’s, it was one of the major features on a vibrant New York club scene. The club was a mainstay on the New York club scene until it was bought out in 1997 by the voracious appetite of New York University (NYU) and demolished for a sterile campus housing project. They have continued to destroy New York ever since.

Junior Vasquez’s Arena party, held Saturday nights and all day Sundays at Palladium between September 1996 and September 1997, was one of the most popular parties in the New York club scene at the time. Although the promoters billed Arena as “The Gay Man’s Pleasure Dome”, the party drew an eclectic mix of gay and straight from Manhattan and far beyond. 14th Street in those days was still seedy and therefore the attraction to gain entrance into the club as you bypassed the bums in the adjoining urine stenched doorways was ‘chic’ and daring.

1986 Palladium party invitation

1986 Palladium party invitation

The Palladium represented architect Arata Isozaki’s transformation of a vacant and rundown theater, originally built in 1927 as the Academy of Music, into an extraordinary interior that can only be described as a sleek new structure, the equivalent of a seven-story building using more than 200 tons of steel, within the restored grandeur of the original shell. After the conversion from a venue to a club, the main dance floor of the Palladium was a huge space which used to hold the theater and seating. One interesting feature of the club was the large banks of TV monitors in grid formations that were used to display music vidoes. Each monitor could operate separately, or one large picture could be shown across the grid – we had never seen such technology before and it was mesmerizing to us at the time.

PALLADIUM collage

The entire gigantic cavernous club was big enough to hold different areas, the equivalent of three or four clubs! Besides the pounding main dance floor area there was a multicolored basement, and the famous upstairs “VIP room”, The Michael Todd Room. Murals were created for this space by the well known New York artists of the 1980s Jean-Michel Basquit, Francesco Clemente, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring – these treasures are gone.

The video links below will show you the 1980’s grandeur it once was.

A rare visual tour into the past of The Palladium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5_NI2MSmp8

MTV music video A. Snap – The Power B. Technotronic – This beat is Technotronic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUdbX4B-74s


Photo of the day: XENA, IMPECCABLE NEW YORK STYLE

XENA PROFILE

XENA, IMPECCABLE NEW YORK STYLE: There is self expression. There is a sense of fashion. There is a sense of style.
Xena has perfected all three of them. I was photographing the people in Union Square, and it was the usual assemblage of punk rockers, NYU students, locals and 9-5ers. I was preparing to leave when I saw Xena leaning against the black cast iron railing and I stopped dead in my tracks. She was perfection!
XENA FRAMEXENA RETRO
The jadeite green French twist hair contrasting with the faded violet colored dress showed off her beautiful alabaster skin, cat eye makeup and glasses to match. Retro, punk, chic all in one – done with style. Xena is New York !

EDNA TURNBLAD 2012

EDNA TURNBLAD 2012: In “Hairspray”, Edna Turnblad wants time to stand still and she not move into the far out 1960’s.
I am at the 14th Street F line subway station, and I see this billboard and start photographing people rushingĀ  by it not letting or having time stand still. Then . . . the 2012 version of Edna Turnblad passed by. Divine lives !

“I want time to stand still.”