DEUCE (42nd STREET), Manhattan

by Kevin Walsh

While “The Deuce” (as its friends and foes knew West 42nd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues) has become the New 42 (more or less, a stretch of New York City that has become the place that tourists flock, or are herded to, there’s still a remnant, or two, of its former highs and lows to be found there and in the streets surrounding it in Times Square.

Many New Yorkers have decried the changes that have come to New 42, but to me it’s fantastic, which might sound like apostasy to people used to my overdevelopment rantings on other Forgotten NY pages. Let’s say I’d rather have B.B. King’s, where I’ve seen the Smithereens, the Zombies and the late John Entwistle, than Peep Land, OK? (It’s likely that even if the “New 42” development surge that began with a trickle during the Koch Administration and reached culmination under Rudy Giuliani had never happened, home video and online porn would have doomed the grindhouses anyway.)

The Crossroads of the World has been the place where all ‘true’ NYC celebrations happen (New Year’s and the NFL’s opening week are celebrated here) but nowhere else in NY has seen such a roller coaster ride from respectability to hell’s ninth circle and back again. In my own memory (the 1960s on) the Deuce has gone from a string of grindhouses playing monster and kung fu movies (stuff that Michael Weldon has gleefully chronicled in his long-running Psychotronic magazine and website) which became Triple XXX palaces with live sex shows from straight to gay and everything in between. Came an eerie lull in the early to mid-1990s after the pornmeisters had been moved out, and then came the mad, crazy, phantasmagoric mix we have now.

Let the tourists come. I believe in NYC tourism. Nothing like the New 42 exists in Des Moines, Juneau or Truth or Consequences. But let’s take a moment to remember where the buses never rolled, and where the jovial Grey Lines barkers won’t bark today.

Begin with Peep-O-Rama (seen above on the title card). On the north side of 42nd just west of 6th Avenue, it was the Deuce’s last peep show and even after the raincoat brigade had shuffled out one last time, the building remained open as an art gallery for a while.

A couple of doors down was the Palace of Variety, home of Stephanie Monseu and Keith Nelson’s Bindlestiff Family Cirkus (which added elements of burlesque to a traditional circus atmosphere). In early 2004 it was a nightly sellout and your webmaster and friends cound not roust a seat.

All buildings on this side of the street were razed in 2004 to make way for the massive $1 billion 50-story Bank of America Building, which will sort of look like a dry run for the Freedom Tower.

Same scene, circa 1990. Tad’s Gristle has survived lo the years.

Hell’s Seraphim, 42nd and 8th, 1988. photo: Matt Weber

According to New York Songlines‘ Jim Naureckas, 8th and 42nd was long notorious for male solicitation; Montgomery Clift was arrested here even after his Oscar nomination in 1948. The Church’s Fried Chicken site is now occupied by the multicolored high-rise Westin New York Hotel, opened in 2002.

The Deuce, 1988. photo: Matt Weber

LEFT: The New 42 in transition ca. 1990. The Harem Theatre was a porno grindhouse located where the Loews E-walk is at present; in its final days in operation it was a crack den. How would your webmaster know? Cinematreasures, of course. photo: Matt Weber

RIGHT: a view of the Harem with the old Modells sneaker store sign in the background and the old Knickerbocker Hotel (Broadway and 42nd) and Bush Tower (42nd west of 6th) in the background. The latter was built in 1918 for the entrepreneurs of Brooklyn’s Bush Terminal in Sunset Park. Circa 1994. photo: greatgridlock.net

That strange sound you hear is your webmaster kicking himself because he didn’t begin photography for FNY till after most of the New 42 conversion was complete. But urbanphotos did..

Grand Luncheonette, 229 West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th. photo: Matt Weber

Matt Weber’s “The Unknown Soldier”; 1988

Forgotten Fan and Queen of Staten Island Jean Siegel presented me with a batch of photos of the Deuce in transition in the 1988-2002 period.

Salon.com: The New 42 in 2002. Some of the sleeze still hangs around the edges.

Herman’s, Father and Son Shoes, and Thom McAn are long gone (Thom McAn is now a brand sold by K-Mart). Scene was on the north side of West 42nd between 6th and Broadway, to the left of what became the Palace of Variety.

“Cooped Up? Enjoy a Movie Today” was one of the notable ads uncovered during the New 42 demolitions. And, glance at lower right for a look at Bickford’s, the long-dead restaurant chain.

Shuttered grindhouses on the New 42, 1990. A close look at the right side will reveal a look at a Knox Hats storeferont. The company was started by Irish immigrant Charles Knox…in 1848! Knox is now a part of Arnold Hatters on 8th Avenue near the new 42.

New 42 survivors. Eltinge (the “Empire” since 1954) Theater.Internet Broadway Database: Thomas W. Lamb, architect. Built by Al Woods (in 1912) and named for the female impersonator whose career made Woods’ fortune. Woods introduced a new seating system: “slender,” “medium,” and “stout” seats for patrons of all sizes. Woods lost the theatre in the depression and it became a burlesque house. By 1941, it was a movie house. In 1998, redevelopment of 42nd St. in full swing, the whole building was lifted, moved down the block, and transformed into the facade and entrance of the AMC multiplex cinema.

To the left of the Empire, we see the Liberty Theatre, which is even older dating to 1905, now absorbed as a part of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

HOJO

The ol’ razzle dazzle indeed. One of the last Howard Johnson’s restaurants held down the NW corner of Broadway and West 46th Streets for a good 4 or 5 decades until it succumbed, as we all must. (It was a block away from an artifact that was a good 80 years older — the J.A. Keal’s Carriage Manufactory sign on 47th Street, which has once again been hidden by masonry). Though there are still HoJos in Waterbury, CT and Lake Placid and Lake George, in NYC it is now left to the Amazing Mets to carry the orange and blue banner. Photos from August 2005.

LAST NIGHT AT HOJO’S

With the incredible foot traffic and auto traffic in this area, you’d have to make quite the effort to not do very good business. I’d think that they simply got priced out…

The Howard Johnson’s sign depicts the old British nursery rhyme of Simple Simon meeting the pie man.

Above the old HoJo’s…but not for long…we find the remains of the old Orpheum Dance Palace (originally Wilson’s Dancing Academy), which entertained customers with “10¢ a dance” more-time-more-money taxi dance partners from 1917 to 1964. Here Henry Miller met June Smith, inspiring him to write Tropic of Capricorn. In the 1970s and 1980s the Orpheum’s 3rd floor was taken over by the New Paris Theatre, described by David Freeland in the NYPress thusly:

“The establishment’s set-up epitomized Times Square during its peak years of squalor: In between film screenings, a young woman lay on a mattress positioned in the middle of the stage. After a man in a towel entered and the couple had sex, a group of female employees would mill through the audience to solicit patrons for “private showings” in a series of back rooms … Screwillustrator Guy Gonzales recalls the New Paris as the sleaziest of Times Square porn palaces: ‘It smelled like decayed flesh in there, a lot of bodily fluids.’ ”

At length the New Paris closed and the legit whodunit Perfect Crime moved in. But the old Orpheum wasn’t completely de-sleazed, since the Gaiety male strip club occupied the second floor till the very end.

2006: only a small piece of the Orpheum remains, on the Broadway side. photo: Christina Wilkinson

Gaiety live show ad, 1981. Gone are the days when newspapers had all the big-splash movie ads at the top of the page and the postage stamp porn theatre ads at the bottom!

 

Clash on Broadway

Bond Clothiers, 7th Avenue between 44th and 45th. As Jim Naureckas explains in NY Songlinesphoto: Matt Weber

“From 1936 until 1942, Wrigley’s had a block-long sign here featuring giant neon fish and the “Wrigley’s Spearman.” This was replaced, from 1948 to 1954, by the Bond Clothiers sign, a neon spectacular that featured two 7-story nude figures (later clothed in neon after complaints from the Hotel Astor) and an actual waterfall with 50,000 gallons of recirculating water. Pepsi took over the spot, turning the giants into giant bottles, and an illuminated clock into a bottlecap.”

In May and June 1981 The Clash played a series of 17 shows at the old Bond’s; the second floor had been converted to a concert space. The Clash were just then revving up popularity in the USA, having released what amounted to 5 original albums’ worth of music in 2 years with London Calling and Sandinista! For the only time in my life, I was oblivious to the lack of air conditioning; in the incredibly packed hall the Only Band That Mattered ran through a catalog I then knew by rote. For some reason I remember the Bush Tetras opened. I don’t remember if it was early or late in the 17-show series.

45 & 46

Some streets north of Times Square provide questions to which I not yet have any answers…

A frame shop on West 45th Street caught my eye…the bit of script writing above the window on the second floor says “Kreinick’s.” Another very old NYC business that disappeared years ago and not remembered…till now? Who was Kreinick?

The same building displays an ancient painted ad: Eddy? and Olga’s Hairdresser.”

On 7th Avenue and West 46th is another relic: The I. Miller Shoe Store, with statues of 4 former leading laidies of Broadway in the 1920s. I discuss this building in Who Are Those Guys (and Gals) Part 4.

Your webmaster hasn’t explored the old Minnesota Strip area (8th Avenue between 42nd and about 50th) nearly enough; I got into a cursefest with a security guard at Worldwide Plaza one day as I attempted to photograph an outdoor sculpture. Now I carry a copy of Photographer’s Legal Rights and a copy of the MTA’s new position on photography (permitted all the time, which will probably not dissuade most cops, who do what their precinct captains say to do). Expect more glimpses from the old Deuce as the months go by.

Hell’s Kitchen, or as the real estate moguls would like you to call it, Clinton, is a fascinating oasis of peace just north of Times Square’s cacophony. I wandered down 46th Street in search of a peaceful scenario.

West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, just to the west of the theater district, is known as Restaurant Row; (9th Avenue is NYC’s capital of ethnic delicacies). It’s lined with Henry Bacon park lamps and still has much of its old 1870s-1890s brownstone buildings which fascinatingly contrast with the booming scene in midtown where new skyscrapers continue to rise.

This placid atmosphere is just a couple of blocks way from the New 42.

St. Clement’s Episcopal Church at 423 West 46th between 9th and 10th also serves as the home of Playhouse 46.

RECOMMENDED:

Down 42nd Street: Sex, Money, Culture, and Politics at the Crossroads of the World, Marc Eliot, Warner Books 2001
BUY this book at Amazon.COM

The Devil’s Playground : A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square, James Traub, Random House 2004
BUY this book at Amazon.COM

Ghosts of 42nd Street : A History of America’s Most Infamous Block, Anthony Bianco, HarperCollins 2004
BUY this book at Amazon.COM

erpietri@earthlink.net
©2006 Midnight Fish

22 comments

Shade Rupe August 25, 2012 - 9:38 pm

Actually, the Liberty has been absorbed by three businesses, none of which are Madame Tussaud’s. The original entrance, and landmarked marquee statuary, are now both the rightmost entrance to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and the leftmost portion of the AMC Empire 25-plex. As you go down the escalator you can see the original torches of the Liberty in the windows facing 42nd street. The actual Liberty theater is still fully there minus the seats and curtains and all, but the proscenium and stage and balconies are there, now a part of Dave’s Famous BBQ. This section is open to patrons and you can sit in the orchestra seating area and look around you at the historic Liberty Theatre.

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Sikandar Nirmal Singh July 15, 2013 - 11:35 pm

I have to agree….i’m quite glad the porn and peep shows are gone. i remember there still being a few peep shows left up from port authority near a duane reade and ollie’s noodle house. i had not yet moved up here (nor married yet, i think), and i remember passing them in disgust. i hope they are gone and the buildings that housed them have been restored for better things.

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Morning Song – You Don’t Mess Around With Jim | MassCommons October 8, 2013 - 6:24 am

[…] “Bowery bums” hadn’t been displaced by gentrification, and 42nd Street was a wild, exhilarating, scary, un-Disneyfied open air entertainment center.  Meanwhile, New York City as a whole was imploding […]

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NYT Breaking: Boobies | Regular Right Guy November 27, 2013 - 5:23 pm

[…] thing is certain: whatever bums are left on the Deuce tonight will be sleeping under a set of boobs, many for the first time in […]

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Robert August 29, 2014 - 8:53 pm

You might this photo interesting: West 42nd in 1966. https://www.flickr.com/photos/20909064@N05/15054097151/

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W.B. October 31, 2014 - 10:33 pm

When 46th between 8th and 9th Avenues was designated Restaurant Row in 1973, the signs indicating same were set with the same color scheme – white print on black background – as Brooklyn! Thus, the only color-coding never used on Manhattan streets was Queens’ blue-on-white. (Fashion Avenue, on Seventh between 26th and 40th Streets, used off-white background as Queens – but black type like Manhattan and Staten Island – from its 1972 designation thereas up to the 1981 sign replacements in Midtown.)

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Christopher Duquette February 7, 2015 - 3:29 pm

As a naïve and confused hick from upstate NY, I trolled around Times Square at 18 yrs old in a outfit Dr. Ruben’s ‘Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex…” categorized as the “homosexual costume” of tight white t-shirt and tight jeans to get picked up by an unbeknownst to me male hustler/dancer who directed me to the stages of Gaiety Burlesque where I danced and hustled from 1976 – 1978. I write extensively about my experiences in Times Square (Howard Johnson’s fried clams and sundaes with “johns” in my book ‘Homo GoGo Man’ by Christopher Duquette available on DonnaInk and Amazon.

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Patty September 25, 2017 - 5:34 pm

Now that we have the series The Deuce airing on HBO with the ever changing Jane’s Franco and a host of rare characters, your page should get a monstrous surge! Great information and photos!

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Alan September 28, 2017 - 12:04 pm

Exactly!! That is why I am here today. I never heard of the term “The Deuce” until that show.

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Patty September 25, 2017 - 5:36 pm

Sorry, that enraging spellcheck! I meant James Franco.

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Mr. Fixit September 29, 2017 - 5:25 pm

There should be streets where tourists fear to tread.
Instead of Madame Tush-auds, there should be a Hooker Museum.
Showing those wonderful costumes the gals used to wear. It could be 20 below and the pimp daddies sitting in their Cadillacs.
But the girls in white leather hotpants and “ermine” chubbies out on the streets working their platform mules.
It was really too wonderful.
Now that we ensure that awful Comrade DiBlasio, and the NYC Police not giving a damn anymore, it’s good to see the working gals (and boys) starting to return to Times Square.
At least they’re prettier than those herds from Indiana and wherever!

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Rocky February 20, 2019 - 4:00 pm

Wonderful? Not if it’s your mother or sister.

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Christopher Duquette January 8, 2018 - 11:09 am

In August, 1976, I was a sexually suppressed 18 year old young man raised in IBM suburbia whose only claim to fame was winning Prom King for my choreographed dance moves I acquired by studying ‘American Bandstand’ and ‘Soul Train’. I always wanted to be a go-go dancer, on display for the world to admire. On the day I escaped my parents’ scrutiny and claustrophobic home after they hastily discharged me at Stony Brook University, I chose to troll X-rated Times Square to satisfy my homosexual lust instead of settling into dorm life. I was quickly approached by a humpy Italian not much older than me, who gently introduced me to my first man-on-man sexual encounter with his experienced hands as professional male hustler. My one hour romantic affair changed gears as my new lover challenged me to follow his lead as a stripper on the stages of the Gaiety Male Burlesque, where I would satisfy the audience and Denise, the conservative Greek business owner, to become a regular dancer on weekends from school. I wrote about my experiences being mentored by street savvy coworkers at the Gaiety who guided me into fast paced lifestyle I apparently welcomed and succeeded at for two years, making more money than an 18 year old still in college knew what to do with, where and how to dress for success, where and how to take drugs, and became entitled to VIP treatment at the best high-end discos and entre to the most exclusive underground clubs, dancing to the best DJ’s and music, making me feel like my Prom King Trophy come to life.
Homo GoGo Man: a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland, by Christopher Duquette was published by DonnaInk DP in Dec.2014, has sold well on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and now at BGSQD. Internet attention to my book has brought me in contact with professionals to consult on disco articles, exhibitions and projects revisiting the hedonistic disco era. I will be reading the chapter “the Gaiety Burlesque” with a DJ accompaniment of the music relevant to that era, a technique I used in my book threading lyrics with my first hand experiences in iconic clubs from 1976 – 2004 driven by an insatiable appetite to dance in clubs for 30 years, and rely on drugs, until my arrested development caught up with me. Silver mylar curtains, a disco ball, the circular pattern of dance floor lights reminiscent of the Gaiety (or any iconic club you want to read about in my book) to make this book reading a full sensation experience will be held at the BGSQD bookstore on level 2 of the LGBTQ center on W13th Street, NYC, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, 7pm- 9pm. Reading starts at 7:30pm, lasts approximately 45 minutes, after which I will be happy to talk publicly and privately, until the LGBTQ center prepares to close at 9:00pm. Connect to BGSQD.com for details, view my YouTube ‘Homo GoGo Man’ by Christopher Duquette, visit my Facebook page on Homo GoGo Man, tell a veteran of the iconic Gaiety Burlesque Theater of the event, or come to learn about a period in time that no longer exists. Homo GoGo Man is a play on words of the species ‘homo sapien’; the story is about a gay man avoiding his own extinction.
845 337 7048, xristo_pherre@hotmail.com

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Thomas Andrews March 14, 2018 - 12:52 am

Does anyone recall a murder of a prostitute by a pimp around 1970’s-1980’s? She was organizing the others girls to leave the life if they wanted, and they killed her. Any also recall a girl killed while she was dancing in a peep show around the same time?

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spirit August 13, 2019 - 12:59 pm

Thomas, that never was solved. A girl was murdered at The Show World after hours and her body was shoved into her locker. The story was embellished to the point where people were asking me about “that dancer who got her throat slit while she was working the stage at The Show World”. I am trying to remember her name…….but as I said, I don’t think that one was solved legally. That doesn’t mean that the REAL owners of The Show World didn’t “reach out and touch” someone…

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Bubs March 11, 2019 - 12:48 am

I was way to young to go to NYC back in its
Hay day…I am fascinated by history and places with stories. Living in New Orleans the History is rich in prostitution and mafia ties..
as everything things change … Times Square or what Was formally the Deuce is scary as far as the dangers that came with it.. The crime, pimps, drugs and the adult sex industry..although there was a story that came with everything.. a mixed bag of sorts. I am sure there was things about it that was entertaining and exciting.. The bars, clubs and nightlife.. The deli’s, breakfast cafe’s , local watering holes were the bartender knew what you liked.. Everything that was happening behind closed doors was out in the open.. and everything comes with a price.. Today’s NYC is filled with overpriced trinkets , tourists traps, watered down drinks, high prices food and mediocre entertainment.. Times Square a place for whoring but now the whoring is with selling an idea of NYC .. whoring out your city for tourism.. expectation without the actual act of sex.. but these businesses with their corporate ideas numb the mind and soul
Similar to the effects like drugs.. I am not about to spend my money on visiting a place that is overcrowded and overpriced.. I am not saying that live sex acts and prostitution was way better..they cleaned up the streets and yes did make them cleaner.. yes brought crime down.. that’s a good thing. However by doing that they stripped away the edges that made New York was it was.. fun and entertaining..like some of the old music venues, food places, mom and pop places. To make way for a zombie like mundane life.. instead having fun … you get to stand in line with a family of snooty crying kids and irritated parents while paying a hugh amount money on a scoop of ice cream or a hat that says New York on it.. not to mention all the chain stores like Starbucks.. yawn..I like alittle seediness.. but the old NYC including the great parts is now a distance memory..soon New Orleans will be another tourist spot where corporate buildings, chain stores, overpriced food, trinkets will become all we know about the culture.. The locals will be forced to move because of over priced rent/ housing.. New Orleans will lose its luster and the mediocre lifestyle will take its place..its either debauchery or Disneyland …..No balance in between….

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Christopher Duquette July 21, 2019 - 2:39 pm

To those who still reminiscence of the hedonistic sex-saturated Times Square of the late 1970’s, specifically the one iconic establishment that stayed in the business of legitimate homosexual entertainment well into the fascist Guilliani era, the Gaiety Male Burlesque Theater, run by an old-school, law and order, profit minded Greek divorcee, Denise, in the heart of historical Broadway, until the building was bought out, erasing any indication of homosexual desires the Gaiety excelled at, the ‘Harmony All-Girl Burlesque’ that was offering the live percussion beat to orchestrate the bump and grind by old-school cosmetically unaltered women doing floor routines before there were stripper poles, and the last vestige of American cuisine, an authentic Howard Johnsons diner offering its specialty: fried clams. All in a three story building on the prime corner of 46th Street/Bway. This blog is for you: I have shared about my blessed experience of exhibiting my suppressed sexual desire to be admired as a Gaiety dancer from Sept. 1976 (the day I was emancipated from my parents on acceptance to Stony Brook University) until 1978, when I made the executive decision that the opportunities of focusing on graduating from college with a Masters degree outweighed all the adulation I received as a well prepared, talented and popular performer on the stages of the Gaiety, and in private exclusive appointments where I was paid handsomely by the hour, never expecting to engage in any activity that endangered me legally, physically, or morally. I wrote about how those early adult years in a glamorous fantasy as I play disco music from that era, and have mentored vulnerable young adults who might use their youth and beauty for financial benefit with long-term emotional consequences in my first book, published 4 years ago and top seller every year by my risk-taking publisher, DonnaInk, Homo GoGo Man: a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland now available on every internet book site in a 2nd new and improved edition, with a more marketable cover. But as I disclose in my cautionary tale, I ended up so obsessed with the disco scene in NYC, that after a prosperous career and lifestyle balancing my addiction to disco, that by age 43, I was unemployable, bankrupt, and burning bridges with friends and family, leaving me to resort to work as a GoGo man, paid to dance in clubs in the tri-state area that my vintage 1973 Orange Volvo 1800ES Sportwagon could drive me to that probably were not expecting a dancer booked by an agency that was not a confused straight unprepared and uncoordinated twenty something twink but a seasoned naturally winning dancer who knew how to perform to an audience of strangers. These shylocks of flesh booked and payed me knew I had what it took to take my clothes off to present a well-toned body and the erstwhile charm to entertain people, not to mention my seriously pitch perfect ability to dance to the music. I was in such desperate drug denial that I believed I could retreat to old behavior (Gaiety dancer at 18 yrs.from upstate NY) with no regret. The salary enhanced my post-Gaiety booking fee (1976: $10. per performance. 2002: $150-$300 per night plus tips and narcissism enhancing crystal meth). I always followed the rules of the establishment I was dancing at. I never wanted to arouse more trouble than I was already in; driving under the influence, driving without auto insurance, carrying drugs across state lines, and prostitution. I had an expensive black leather doctor’s bag that a lover had given me as a gift from Tokyo twenty years ago; my Japanese Louis Vuitton. The sentimental piece of luggage that had taken me around the world on luxurious vacations was now full of stripper costumes that I would buy or make. I could procure props from that bag to dance and strip in a variety of butch looks to keep me and the audience interested in the old go-go man. I always wore expensive black logger boots to keep me grounded to a go-go cage, stage, or bar that I had to precariously stay cemented to. I could not afford to fall blinded by the spot or strobe lights of the disco. I had an authentic yellow construction helmet that I would wear with a red, white, and blue thong that paid patriotic respect to the American work ethic. I wore running sneakers, a jock strap, head band and a water bottle to portray a marathoner. I evoked lifeguard fantasies with a Speedo bathing suit, mirrored aviator glasses and a whistle on a lanyard. I had black Harley Davidson motorcycle boots and matching gloves that I wore with a sheer black Gucci brief with the label “G” embossed in rhinestones. With a navy thong, mirrored aviator glasses and a sleeveless security shirt, I would become a nasty cop S/M fantasy. A brown leather cowboy hat with ostrich yellow cowboy boots and a brown Gucci bikini made me look like an Aussie hunter. I had sophisticated costumes to feature in my pathetic dance gigs in desolate venues. No other dancer came with a bag of tricks like this old hoofer. I performed with a tacky form flattering hot pink bikini and glow sticks from the Dollar Store wrapped around my ankles, wrist and neck to dance madly to the electro-bubblegum of Madonna’s “Ray of Light, sucking on a lollipop”: I also came with my own CD music labeled with the track and my stage name: Xristo. I was the consummate performer in an era that did not appreciate anything more than virgin chicken flesh.
Faster than the speeding light she’s flying Trying to remember where it all began She’s got herself a little piece of heaven Waiting for the time when earth shall be as one And I feel Quicker than a ray of light Then gone for Someone else shall be there Through the endless years Ray of Light.
When Madonna accepted her very first MTV video award for her performance in the video “Ray of Light”, she alluded to the fact that it was ironic that she should finally receive the Man-on-the-Moon trophy after all her other genius videos she produced and prodcast over decades on that station when all she really did in the award winning video was “dance her crazy middle-aged ass off like a mad woman”. I was born the same year as Madonna. I sometimes identify myself with her. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT a Madonna wannabe. After all, I am a butch gay man. But here I was, a middle-aged hoofer, dancing like a crazy mad man to “Ray of Light”. Only I was no longer receiving a Prom King trophy for my performance. I was dancing like a mad man to pay for the drugs to keep me dancing. I was staying alive one day at a time. I wrote a 2nd book in one month after submitting the improved 2nd edition of HomoGoGoMan as an epilogue to document the struggles I have encountered and lessons I have learned recovering from the physical, mental, emotional and social stigma I have endured and surpassed by employing the singular characteristic every human being has been tempted and tested with good and bad results: euphoria. DRxug of Choice: Pick your Poison is published by my artistic mentor DonnaInk, available on most every internet book site, and again is a cautionary tale that I warn against some of the archaic medical community standards followed today to treat “mental disorder”, while promoting the still minority of current science and therapy available to those that are willing to take responsibility for their desire to achieve nirvana free of strict doctrine, medication, and social stigma for the very public record that is freely accessible to the general public containing any and all medical attention (meds, ER, rehab,…) as defaming as a criminal record. I will survive. Christopher Duquette. Xristo_pherre@hotmail.com. http://www.facebook.com/authorchristopherduquette. You tube ‘Homo GoGo Man’.

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Christopher Duquette August 2, 2019 - 12:56 am

GoGoMan Pt1 To those who reminisce of the hedonistic sex-saturated TimesSquare late70’s,specifically the iconic establishment that stayed in bsns providing legitimate homosexual entertainment well into the fascist Guilliani-era,theGaietyMaleBurlesqueTheater,run by an old-school,law&order, profit-minded Greek divorcee,Denise,in the heart of historical Bway,until the bldg was bought&demolished,erasing any indication of homosexual desires theGaiety excelled at providing,in addition to its long-term neighbors:the‘HarmonyAll-GirlBurlesque’that offered a percussion drummer to orchestrate the bump&grind of old-school cosmetically-unaltered women doing floor routines before there were stripper poles;&the last vestige of American cuisine:an authentic HowardJohnson’s diner offering its specialty plate of fried clams.All in a 3-story bldg on the prime corner of 46thSt/Bway.I have shared about my blessed experience of overcoming my suppressed sexual desire to be admired as a Gaiety dancer from Sept.1976 (the day I was emancipated from my parents on acceptance to StonyBrookUniversity)until 1978,when I made the executive decision that the opportunities of focusing on graduating from college with a Master’s degree outweighed all the adulation I received as a well prepared,talented&popular performer on the stages of theGaiety,and on private exclusive appointments with “johns”,paid handsomely by the hour,never forced to engage in any activity that endangered me legally,physically,or morally.I wrote about how those early adult years seemed like a glamorous fantasy as I played disco music from that era,&sobered up to mentor vulnerable young adults who might use their youth&beauty for financial benefit with long-term emotional consequences in my 1st book,published 4.5 yrs ago and top-seller every year by my risk-taking publisher,DonnaInk:Homo GoGo Man:a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland now available on most internet booksites in a 2nd new&improved edition,w/ a more marketable cover.But as I disclose in that cautionary tale,I ended up so obsessed with the disco scene,that balancing my addiction to disco with a prosperous career&lifestyle for over 20yrs,that by age 43,I was unemployable,bankrupt,&burnt bridges w/friends&family,leaving me to resort to work as a GoGoman,paid to dance in clubs in the tri-state area that my vintage 1973OrangeVolvo1800ESSportwagon could drive me to.Club owners were expecting a dancer booked by an agency to be a sexually confused ‘straight’ unprepared&uncoordinated twenty-something twink.But I was a seasoned naturally winning dancer who knew how to perform to an audience of strangers.GypsieRoseLee.The shylocks of flesh who booked&payed me knew I had what it took to take my clothes off to present a well-toned body and my erstwhile stage charm to entertain,not to mention my seriously pitch perfect ability to dance to the music.I was in such desperate drug denial that I believed I could retreat to old behavior(a Gaiety dancer at 18 yrs.from upstate NY in ’76;now a 43yr old in 2004)with no regret.The salary had improved. 1976: $10/performance. 2002: $150-$300/night plus tips and sexual enhancing crystal meth.I always followed the rules of the establishment I was dancing at.I never wanted to arouse more trouble than I was already in;driving under the influence without auto insurance,transporting drugs across state lines,&prostitution.

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Christopher Duquette August 2, 2019 - 12:57 am

GoGoMan Pt2 I had an expensive blackleather doctor’sbag that a lover had given me as a gift from Tokyo 20yrs prior;my JapaneseLouisVuitton.That sentimental piece of luggage that had taken me around the world on luxurious vacations was now full of stripper costumes that I would buy or make.I could procure props from that bag to dance&strip in a variety of butch looks to keep me&the audience interested in an old gogoman.I always wore black loggerboots to keep me grounded to a gogo cage,stage,speaker or bar where I had to precariously stay cemented while I performed.I couldn’t afford to be blinded by the spot/strobe lights of the disco.I had a yellow construction helmet worn w/ a red,white,&blue thong that paid patriotic respect to the American work ethic,as hypocritical as that was to me.I just wanted to please the audience to make a $buck&.I wore running sneakers,jockstrap,headband&sprayed myself w/ a waterbottle to portray a jock.I evoked lifeguard fantasies w/ a Speedo bathingsuit,sunglasses&a whistle on a lanyard.I had black HarleyDavidson motorcycleboots &matching gloves worn w/ a sheer black Gucci brief containing the label “G”embossed in rhinestones.In a navy thong,mirrored aviator glasses&a sleeveless security shirt,I would become a nasty S/M cop fantasy.A brown leather cowboy hat w/exotic yellow ostrich leather cowboyboots&a brown Gucci bikini made me an Aussie hunter.I had sophisticated costumes to feature in the pathetic dance gigs in desolate venues I was booked to drive to and perform for the night.No other dancer came with a bag of tricks like this old hoofer.I once performed w/ a tacky formflattering hot pink bikini &glow sticks wrapped around my ankles,wrist&neck to dance madly to the electro-bubblegum of Madonna’s”Ray of Light”sucking on a lollipop.I always arrived at a venue with my own CD labeled w/ the track&my stage name:Xristo.I was the consummate performer in an era that did not appreciate anything more than virgin chicken flesh:’gay for pay’. Faster than the speeding light she’s flying.Trying to remember where it all began.She’s got herself a little piece of heaven.Waiting for the time when earth shall be as one.And I feel Quicker than a ray of light.Then gone for Someone else shall be there through the endless years.Ray of Light. When Madonna accepted her very 1stMTVvideoaward for her performance in the video”Ray of Light”,she indicated that it was ironic that she should finally receive the Man-on-the-Moon trophy after all of the other genius videos she produced&broadcast for decades on the MTV,when all she really did in the awardwinning video was“dance her crazy middle-aged ass off like a madwoman”.I was born the same year as Madonna.I sometimes identify myself with her.Don’t get me wrong,I am NOT a Madonnawannabe.But here I was,a middle-aged hoofer,dancing like a crazy madman to”Ray of Light”.Only I was no longer receiving a PromKing trophy for my performance.I was dancing like a madman to pay for drugs to keep me dancing.I was staying alive 1 day at a time.I wrote a 2nd book in one month after submitting the improved 2nd edition of my best-seller HomoGoGoMan as an epilogue to document the struggles I have encountered&lessons I have learned recovering from the physical,mental,emotional&social stigma I have endured&surpassed by employing the singular characteristic every human being has been tempted&tested w/ good&bad results:euphoria.I have come to the conclusion that the medical community does not have the definitive fix.Nirvana must come from within.

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Spirit August 13, 2019 - 12:54 pm

I hung out in Times Square from the late 1960’s through the early deadly 80’s Later, I was going on a promo bus tour of New York with some out-of-towners. When we got to the bus, it was parked outside the Howard Johnson’s….or what was left of it. It had been destroyed and left open. I was mortified..because I had been trying (and trying) to negotiate with the construction/destruction foreman to buy the Simon/Pieman neon sign. The guy was just too hardheaded, but I thought we had a deal. No such. I wandered inside (no safety tape, security or anything else) looking for something of value that wasn’t broken. They even broke the handles on the soda dispensers! But leaving, I saw something in the window: a fabric butterfly. A green one. I took it. I still have it.

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paul ASK November 2, 2019 - 1:57 am

I DID NOT KNOW OF “THE DEUCE” PER SE. AND DID NOT KNOW THAT AREA WAS CALLED THAT, UNTIL i SAW HBO”S THE DEUCE. I WAS WALKING AROUND THAT AREA, THOUGH, WITH FRIEND WILLIAM PERRY, IN SUMMER 1976; WE HAD WALKED FROM EAST SIDE WHERE SANITATION DEPT WAS (HIS FATHER WAS WORKING THERE), ACROSS TO ST PATRICKS, DOWN TO TWIN TOWERS, BACK UP NORTH TO A GAMING PLACE (NOT FANTASY, FORGOT NAME, BIG PLACE WITH PINBALL, ETC.). I DID SEE THE SLEAZY SIDE OF THINGS, VAGUELY REMEMBER. I WAS ALMOST 16. IF I KNEW, AFTER WATCHING “THE DEUCE” NOW ON HBO, I WOULD HAVE SPENT MORE TIME THERE IN THE DEUCE, AND PAID MORE ATTENTION. PROBABLY WOULD HAVE LOST MY VIRGINITY FASTER! (DID NOT LOSE THAT UNTIL APRIL 12, 1979 AT 3:40 AM pst IN CALIFORNIA ON LONGFELLOW, REDONDO/HERMOSA AREA). I WISH I COULD GO BACK IN TIME, AND SPEND TIME IN THE DEUCE, NOW THAT I KNOW OF THIS AREA, THANKS TO HBO. by the way, I LOVED THE HBO SERIES “THE DEUCE”! I WISH IT NEVER ENDED…YET. SEEN EVERY EPISODE. AND HAVE FIRST 2 SEASONS ON BLURAY/DVD. THANKS, HBO & FRANCO & MAGGIE. -PAUL A. 2 NOVEMBER 2019 SATURDAY 2:56 AM EST

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IJR January 26, 2020 - 2:17 pm

Where was Club 366 as depicted in the Deuce located?

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