Posts Tagged ‘Heroin in the East Village’

Vintage ads for downtown clubs from the 1980s

April 15, 2011

They’re long gone, the spaces they once occupied now housing much less cool venues—even a shopping mall.

But in the early and mid-1980s, these were the dance clubs and after-hours spots where the cool kids hung out.

Save the Robots operated at 25 Avenue B—near the corner of Second Street, a notorious heroin cop spot—as a semi-legal underground club. Club kids, drag queens, and bar employees from other establishments finally off work after 4 a.m. were frequent customers.

“In the olden days of a mere two years ago, 8BC had a log cabin ambiance—dirt floor, no heat—and didn’t meet a single licensing requirement,” wrote C. Carr in On Edge: Performance Art at the End of the Twentieth Century, published in the 1980s.

The performance space-slash-club only lasted a few short years, but it hosted artists and bands from Karen Finley to They Might Be Giants, with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat on the walls.

Nightlife king Peter Gatien opened the Limelight in a circa-1845 Chelsea Episcopal church in 1983. Its rise as a goth dance club and club kid drug mecca has been pretty well-documented.

Who would have though that in 2011, it would be the site of the Limelight Marketplace, sort of an upscale mall with boutiques and food stalls?

All ads come from various issues of The East Village Eye.

A guide to narcotics in the East Village, 1982

September 11, 2009

The Soho News, a weekly paper that covered downtown from 1973 to 1982, ran some news briefs about East Village smack shops and drug dealing titled “Alphabet City Soup” in their March 16, 1982 issue.

Sohonewsheroinreport

It included this informative guide to the most popular brands of cocaine and heroin available between Avenues A and D at the time.