Good morning peeps! For those of you following the Pieces saga, we have a new chapter to add - and it's not pretty. Read on. But first, want to shout out to my manager R who read my first draft, gave me notes and commented that the title of the blog ought to be "Minority Rules. Just Like Congress" but it was a little too erudite for how I'm feeling today. Which is not at all all eruditey at all!
So here goes.
Well, on Thursday July 21st we all thought we'd achieved a victory -but first let's backtrack a wee bit: the subcommittee community board 2 had denied Pieces the right to move to the new space on W. 8th Street on Thursday July 14th but just a week later, the larger Community Board approved it by an overwhelmingly margin. Out of 50 votes, there were about 5 or 6 nays, three abstains and the rest a vote of yes. You do the math.
Ah those were nice days when fantasys of getting along with the neighbors on W. 8th Street, eating at Dallas BBQ and having dessert at Insomnia Cookies filled my head. The fantasy of the day we'd all march from 8 Christopher Street 325 feet to the new location at 61 W. 8th Street. Those were the days - they lasted all of two weeks.
On August 1st, Pieces owner Eric Einstein went to sign the new lease with the landlord of 61 8th Street ....but a mere 40 minutes before, the new landlord reneged on the deal she'd made with him and said instead she was going to rent to a sushi restaurant. Apparently the noise and cigarette smoke that restaurant-goers generate isn't an issue with the residents as it was with Pieces.
And there it is folks, a clear anti-gay bias. Three weeks ago after the first subcommittee 2 meeting I openly accused the members of that group as being violently anti-gay. I wasn't contacted directly by anyone on that committee refuting my claims (of course that would be inviting a direct challenge to their homophobia) but when people wrote to the head of the subcommittee expressing their displeasure at their decision, the head of the committee replied to people claiming that he was a gay man and the decision was in no way 'anti-gay'.
I suppose it's better to send in a black man to tell the slaves that they are going to stay on the plantation because it does make the news that much easier to swallow - but there is a name for that in African American culture, pity there's no equivalent for that in the LGBT community for a man who sells out his own community by out and out lying about a business in order to get his way. Perhaps we ought to call it Roy Cohning.
Yes, dears I know it's "just" a bar but this development is troubling and if you don't see it, you're either blind, new to the city or part of the problem. The gays developed the Village into the safe little space it's become (with, I might add, sky high property values) and the fact that we're being run out of there on a rail should be disturbing to you. Again, if it isn't, check to see if you have a pulse. And if you think the property values will stay sky high once it's purely filled with decrepit old angry people who long for an 8pm bedtime, you are sadly mistaken.
Of course the angry people on 8th Street I'm sure bombarded the poor unwitting landlord of 61 8th Street with so many angry emails and phone calls that the poor thing probably figured it wasn't worth the trouble - which is how bullying works. The afflicted person just feels it's easier to give up and give the bully what they want rather than to stand up and fight. It's a time honored technique and the 8th Street resisdents have perfected it. I saw it in action both at the subcommittee meeting on July 14th and at the larger Community Board meeting on July 21st. In the former case, they prattled on with their lies of condoms strewn about Gay Street and drunken gay men brawling in the streets at all hours of the night until their hoary faces nearly choked on their own bile. In the latter case, the leader of the main Community Board wisely shut people up who clearly had their own anti-gay agenda to spew. Unfortunately the landlord of 61 W. 8th Street didn't stand a chance from the torrent of anti-gay lies lobbed at her because really, who needs the harrassment?
Sure you can click here and write to the landlord and ask nicely for her to reconsider but I don't give it very good odds. It would be great if she would honor her committment.
We have had to fight our own battles for fortysome years and we will have to continue to do so now. The new wrinkle is - now we're also fighting ourselves - the gays and the lesbians on that street who actively spoke out/lied about the character of the bar and the type of business it brings in.
The traitor gays are the worst and deserve to rattle down to the lowest circle of hell in my opinion. As I've said before, I don't expect Teh Gayz to unanimously support each other on every little thing - but I do feel put out when my fellow gays stand up in front of a roomful of people and simply lie to my face about the business I've worked for for three years. I don't know if these guys have actually been in the bar or not but given what they've said about us, I can't imagine they have.
In the end, Pieces lease is up at the end of the year and without much time to go through this process again (I mean really, who in their right mind would WANT to? Let me bend over so you can screw me with a tire iron again? I'll pass, thankyouverymuch), it looks like that'll be all she wrote for the historic bar that's existed in the Village for 18 years.
I guess the 8th Streeters will be happy about their choice but they'll no doubt find something to complain about with the sushi restaurant too. Mark my words. Because (and I know this is a HUGE shock) the street will be just as crowded and just as smokey with a restaurant than a bar.. and frankly when the wafting of smelly raw fish starts to overwhelm the resisdents of 61 8th Street, well they might just pine for the nice gay boys who played bingo, watched 'Xanadu", played pool and sang "bad" karaoke (is there any other kind? I jest because I love). Anyway, good luck with that folks!
And besides, a bully's a bully's a bully. They just want to complain and bully. Unhappy people do that.
I guess it comes down to - we have a million other sushi restaurants but only one Pieces. Although now, well, not for long.