New York's "lost city bloggers" are astir this week, as two of the city's recently vanished cultural institutions are (kind of) getting a second chance.
First, the Chinatown Fair Arcade. The famed Manhattan mecca for gamers dismantled its Street Fighter machines and closed its doors last spring, but filmmaker Kurt Vincent (whose mesmerizing trailer for the documentary "Arcade: The Last Night At The Chinatown Fair " you can watch here) has confirmed the spot is set to reopen under new owners. Vincent told Gothamist, "As far as I know it is opening ASAP. I'd say within the month since the longer it sits closed the more money is lost. Plus, they aren't changing a thing to the space. It is in need of renovation, but looks like they are just leaving as is."
Vincent saw men moving games back into the arcade this week and it should be up and running by May. "I love how the story of Chinatown Fair keeps going," he writes. "I suspect it will never truly end."
And second, there's the Holiday Cocktail Lounge. The famed St. Mark's dive closed in January, but crews from "Kill Your Darlings"--a movie about the 1944 murder committed by Lucien Carr, a good friend and colleague of "beat generation" luminaries Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs--are in the bar Thursday, transforming the interior to look like the 1940s, a task EV Grieve notes, "given the bar's timeless look, likely won't take too much."
Ginsberg and company were regulars at The Lounge during their time in New York. Daniel Radcliffe is playing Ginsberg (see photos here), Elizabeth Olsen is Kerouac's first wife, Edie Parker, and Ben Foster will be William Burroughs. Other stars include Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Cross and Kyra Sedgwick.
Enough star-power to revive the Lounge to its old glory? Probably not. A new tavern-restaurant is set to take over the space soon.
Now, if someone wants to reopen and/or set films in Southpaw and Bleecker's Bob Records, we can have a regular Midnight In Paris-like party with the East Village and LES of yore.
Also, because we were talking about the beat generation, howsabout we take a listen to this 1958 Jack Kerouac recording at Hunter College that WNYC released earlier this week? Yea? Ok:
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