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

Posts tagged “1970’s New York

Photo of the day: ON NOVEMBER 13, FELIX UNGER WAS ASKED TO REMOVE HIMSELF FROM HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE . . .

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Photo of the day: On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence . . .
that request came from his wife.
Deep down, he knew she was right,
but he also knew that some day he would return to her.
With nowhere else to go,
he appeared at the home of his friend, Oscar Madison.
Several years earlier,
Madison’s wife had thrown HIM out,
requesting that HE never return.
Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?
The Odd Couple 1970 opening classic New York credits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af1h4ibpKJA

Mondays on Memory Lane: EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN, REMEMBERING 1970’S SHOE STORES

SHOE collage

Mondays on Memory Lane: EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN, REMEMBERING 1970’s SHOE STORES – Just as the young women of today are teetering on their nine inch platforms, the exact same shoes were the rage in the early to mid 1970’s. In the disco era it wasn’t only women teetering about, it was men also. I was about six inches taller in those disco days.
There were many “cool” in vogue streets to buy your shoes in those days. One was, believe it or not, today’s staid East 59th Street between Third and Second Avenues, right behind Bloomingdale’s. Right around the corner on 58th Street and Lexington Avenue was Arrowsmith Shoes (advertised in the above 1975 ad). The other of course was West Eighth Street – shoe mecca.
The coolest pair I ever bought, which I am missing and lamenting to this day that I didn’t keep, were bought at  227 East 59th Street in a store called “Jumping Jack Flash” they specialized in ‘Galm Wear’ glitter suits, outrageous platform shoes and accessories.  I afforded myself one $75 (or about $100) pair there – they were navy blue with wooden platform and heel. On each toe was a silver leather star and on the outer side of each shoe was a silver shooting star. I wore those shoes to every “in” event till the shoes finally fell apart. I also had 3″ high buffalo sandals, rubber wedgies, black velvet Herman Munster-like ‘evening’ shoes I would wear to formal events to the consternation of my mother.
1974 Off to London wearing my Jumping Jacket Flash shoes (covered by the bell bottoms.)

1974 Off to London wearing my Jumping Jacket Flash shoes (covered by the bell bottoms.)

West Eighth Street in Greenwich Village was shoe mecca. Literally one shoe store after another, 3 blocks of wedgies, heels and platforms, not to forget outrageous boots. It was a common thing to spend your night in “shoe alley.” You got dressed as funky as you could and would start at Sixth Avenue and walk up one side of the street, in and out of every single shoe store, upstairs and downstairs, admiring the hip disco funky clothes, jewelry and wide belts. Passing legendary Electric Lady Recording Studios, the head shops and the 8th Street Playhouse, then a revival movie house soon to become famous for showing “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” You stayed the longest in the stores which had the best disco music blaring. The shoes were made of every material possible: wet look vinyl, leather, plastic, wood, cloth – you name it. Then when you reached Broadway you would cross the street and peruse every single store on your way back down the street, finishing with grabbing a hot dog at Gray’s Papaya at Sixth Avenue and then head onto Christopher Street to join the evenings ‘parade’. God I miss those days! It’s all gone now. The shoe styles have returned but the fun of the era is but a memory. Both streets have lost their flavor and soul. East 59th Street is now mainly cabinet shops and furniture stores. On West Eighth Street, one third of the stores are empty due to Mayor Bloomberg/Councilwoman Quinn and landlord greed.
Empty West 8th Street 2013, Greenwich Village

Empty West 8th Street 2013, Greenwich Village

But – I have one outrageous pair left! (See top left main photo). They were even a bit too outrageous for the times then, so I didn’t wear them as much, and so they have survived. Aqua marine perforated leather, with orange leather lace-up, brown heel and toe and clunky wooden platform and heel. My treasured memento of dancing a little happier, knowing how to balance myself as I walked and being always at least three inches taller.

Photo of the day: MEET BETTE MIDLER IN PERSON MAY 9, AT KORVETTES DEPT. STORE

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Photo of the day: MEET BETTE MIDLER IN PERSON MAY 9, AT KORVETTE DEPT. STORE – 36 years ago! May 9, 1977. It was a Monday afternoon, I am sure I played hooky from college, and I got there early and got in line with all my Bette Midler memorabilia which she gladly signed (in those days, stars did that!). It was the advent of Bette’s much anticipated ‘Live At Last’ 2lp record set. To capture the escence of 1970’s bawdy Bette – you need to hear her live, up till then there had been only three studio recordings of her. The ‘Live’ record album became one of the most quoted and mimicked in every drag queen’s act in those days. “Hello Cleve-land!”
 BETTE MIDLER @ KORVETTES 1977©
Red head Bette was in true camp mode and kibitzed with everyone. Dig the groovy 1970’s graphics in the background of the smaller photo. Doesn’t her assistant look like ‘Laurie Partridge’?? I stayed a while and took some photos of the, then, rising superstar. On the way out of the old Korvettes Department Store – I grabbed this sign with the photo, right out of the standing sign holder and raced for the door. Today the sign is one of the few artifacts left of the long gone (then one of the first) discount department store Korvettes located at 575 Fifth Avenue/47th Street, to the consternation of SAKS Fifth Avenue, which was just two blocks up on the swanky avenue.
Eugene Ferkauf, owner of E. J. Korvette department store, standing outside by storefront on Fifth Avenue

Eugene Ferkauf, owner of E. J. Korvette department store, standing outside by storefront on Fifth Avenue

(The store used both spellings: KORVETTE and KORVETTES.)
See Bette perform ‘Live’:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO7CTclJ8B4
Now today, 36 years later, you can see blonde Bette on Broadway in the play “I’ll Eat You Last.”