Posts Tagged ‘Stanley’s Avenue B’

“The affluent set invades the East Village”

December 7, 2011

So read the headline from a New York Times article. Was it from 2002? 1996? 1988?

It actually dates to November 1964, and the piece chronicles a familiar story: how the artists and writers who moved to the neighborhood when it was rundown and unsafe resented the onslaught of rich uptowners who came to live there—or just slum it for the night.

“The uptown rich, who popularized Small’s Paradise in Harlem and the Peppermint Lounge in Midtown, have discovered the East Village nightspots,” explained the Times.

“‘First there were the artists,’ [Stanley] Tolkin said.” Tolkin was the owner of Stanley’s, on Avenue B and 12th Street, a hangout for painters, musicians, and poets.

“‘Then there were the teachers and writers, and little by little, we had everyone—advertising men, doctors who live in walk-up tenements, lawyers just starting out, construction workers.'”

“‘They all seem to work at something during the day,’ Tolkin said. ‘But at night, they change their clothes and become Beatniks.'”

The owner of Slug’s, another Bohemian bar on East Third Street, had this to say about the uptowners:

“‘They’re bored, and they have no other place to go. It has to become a fashionable place. It always happens to places like this. I’m going to raise my prices then.'”

[Fred W. McDarrah photos from The New Bohemia, by John Gruen, published in 1965]

Stanley’s: a bohemian 1960s East Village bar

November 15, 2011

For years, the ground-floor of this handsome tenement, on the northwest corner of 12th Street and Avenue B, has been home to a bodega.

But in the early 1960s, it was Stanley’s, “a hip place where Harlem met bohemia,” according to one resident at the time, a hangout for artists, writers, musicians, and other creative types who had begun colonizing the neighborhood real estate folks had just christened the East Village.

A 1965 guide to Greenwich Village had this to say about Stanley’s, as well as the bars that came before it:

“Among its patrons: [Allen] Ginsberg, David Henderson, Calvin Hernton, Tuli Kupferberg, Odetta, Ishmael Reed, Ed Sanders, and actors Lou Gossett, Moses Gunn, and Cicely Tyson,” states The Beat Generation in New York, by Bill Morgan.

Stanley’s was run by Stanley Tolkin, who later opened the Dom on St. Marks Place, a bar-slash-performance space that took heat in the mid to late 1960s for attracting a very uncool crowd.