I checked out a reading event at NYC’s esteemed, historic literary haunt, KGB Bar the other night.
And while I could rant about how one writer read their work with this annoying, ellipses-laden intonation that implies gravitas that hasn’t been earned, this post isn’t about the reading.
It’s about the fact that KGB Bar is one of the few outposts of a dying NYC sensibility.
The ceiling is peeling. It’s always dark in there even if it’s sunny outside. Candles flicker. There is a non-fucntioning ancient TV amongst Soviet propagnada posters. It has a musty smell and when you go there to hear authors read, you also hear people shrieking, running across the floor above, doing experimental theatre.
All of which I love.
The women’s restroom was being remodeled, so I had to go up another flight of rickety steps to get to another bathroom. I had low expectations. In fact, the woman who walked out before me simply shrugged and said, “Well, it works.”
She said this as if the only thing it had going for it was a flushable toilet.
Such a fool! Such a lack of imagination!
I disagreed wholeheartedly with this bitch. Nay, this bathroom was superb:
Depressed writers could have had existential angst in here.
Rats could mate in here.
Rock stars of the 70s could both fuck and shoot up in here.
Debutantes slumming it for kicks could wonder if maybe living on the Upper East Side wasn’t so bad after all.
But more than anything, it was proof that Manhattan hasn’t quite turned into the Disney theme park that the critics claim.
And I really loved how the window was covered with a New Yorker pizza box “Fresh from The Oven To You!”
(If that wasn’t enough–someone drew graffiti on it.)
I suggest you get on over to KGB Bar and breathe in this urine-scented shithole now. I’m serious. I took several photos (And no, they ain’t so great because someone was pounding on the door trying to get in.)
But it’s only a matter of time before this little taste of junkie heaven is gone forever, and and all you’ll smell is Lysol, upward mobility and department store perfume.
So lap it up (click the above photo to enlarge) for it is glorious.