Nobody is more distraught over the closure of View Bar (nee The Break) in New York’s Chelsea district than the local gays. Except, arguably, the bar’s owner who was forced by his landlord to shut the doors on Friday at 4:30pm before Pride Weekend. But the death of his venue isn’t just a failed business establishment; it’s a failure for gay culture!
“The truth is we had fallen behind in our rent and had promised the landlord that he would be paid in full on Monday, following this weekend,” writes “Daddy” Andrew Marashinsky, the bar’s now-former owner, leaving a note on the bar’s website. “Even though we had never fallen behind in all our 25 year history, he chose to exercise his right to close us on Friday at 4:30pm, when nothing could be done.”
And now for the existential period of the program:
When I first opened The Works there were over 100 gay bars in NYC…now we don’t even number 50. Back then gay bars were a necessity, if you wanted to hook we. the pier, the park, the trucks and the baths were it. We were the safe, sane choice. Now one only has to sign on and order in. No shower, shave, multiple outfit changes or small talk is necessary. I know, I’ve done it. However, there is also no first locking of eyes, no buzz in your groin, whiff of his scent, feel of his grope or taste of his lips. And in no time he is in your bed performing an intimate act on …you (or you on him) sometimes without even exchanging names.
Now there is a time and place of everything and the internet is included. I just feel sad, on this historical weekend, that what our comrades fought for and rioted about was the right to gather (in a bar.) That right is now so discounted that NYC’s gay nightlife is disappearing – and by our own hand. The straight bars are not diminishing in numbers… we are.
If video killed the radio star, then Grindr killed the gay bar?