Place in History

The Bowery Hall of Fame

Years: 2001-2002
Project: A modular mini-museum set up on the Bowery.
Summary: The Bowery Hall of Fame is a museum in miniature, assembled from the remains of a Palace Hotel lodging house cubicle, pilfered cultural artifacts, local propaganda, and bits of historical documentation. Inside this tiny dwelling you will discover strange and wonderful facts about the Bowery, its inhabitants, its structures, its apocryphal history and its unknowable future. From the nineteenth century slumming expeditions of George Washington Chuck Connors, the Mayor of Chinatown, to the modern-day exploits of urban professionals, this museum offers the visitor an explicit view of the world's most famous down-and-out boulevard. Built at a moment of profound physical, social and economic change along the Bowery, the Hall of Fame represents a portal into twenty-first century New York, a place defined by its past yet persistently unfettered by it.

  Page 9: Old Grunge And New: Excerpts From Hilly Kristal’s History of Cbgb  

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OLD GRUNGE AND NEW: EXCERPTS FROM HILLY KRISTAL’S HISTORY OF CBGB

“What is CBGB -- and has been for over 26 years -- was an old derelict bar from the turn of the last century. It was called "The Palace Bar" because it was right under The Palace Hotel (some hotel, a real palace!).

“Having a rock club on the Bowery, under a flop house (believe it or not), does have some advantages. (1) The rent is (was) reasonable (2) Most of our neighbors dressed worse than, or more weird than our rock and rollers (3) The surrounding buildings were mostly industrial and the people who did live close by didn't seem to care too much about having a little rock and roll sound seeping into their lives.

“The Bowery was, to repeat, a drab ugly and unsavory place. But it was good enough for rock and rollers. The people who frequented CBGB didn't seem to mind staggering drunks and stepping over a few bodies.”

“Mostly, knives were the weapon of choice. By the time things improved around here, I had collected over three dozen knives and other assorted weapons. The muggers—or "jack rollers"—as they were called on the Bowery, were not as dangerous to ordinary people as they seemed. They were used to picking on the old men or others who were completely out of it like three sheets to the wind.”

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