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Adrienne Day

Adrienne Day is a writer, editor and proud Greenwich Village native. Day worked as an editor at Entertainment Weekly and Spin magazines, and has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, Wired, the Village Voice and City Limits, among other outlets.

 

Abstract:

"Occupy Greenwich Village"

As the fight over Zuccotti Park rages on, the idea of who "occupies" urban space hasn't been so hotly contested since the publication of Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities. In my presentation, I will document the evolution of a handful of vital musical spaces in NYC's Greenwich Village, spaces that helped birth musical revolutions and morphed into symbols of late-stage capitalist triumphalism.

Greenwich Village hosted many vital musical movements -- the folk-revival coffee-shop scene of the '60s; the rumblings of the punk underground at the Mercer Arts Center and CBGBs in '70s; the disco jams for a hip gay clientele at Coco's Roller Rink in the early '80s; the new wave, house and pop music embraced by dance clubs like the Palladium, the World and the Saint. All were swallowed by luxury housing and upscale development.

I'll focus on a handful of these music spaces and map out their historical narratives, examining what happens when the "rural to urban" paradigm (as suggested by the Cultural Collisions sub-theme) relegates the "rural" once again to the urban fringe. CBGB's is now a Varvatos clothing store. The Palladium club is the Palladium dorm for wealthy NYU students. Coco's is now Fat Cat Billiards, for frat-boy gaming and microbrew sipping. The Mercer Arts Club and the World have been transformed into luxury housing. The Saint, once the Fillmore East, is an Emigrant Savings bank. In terms of the cultural collisions that originally gave rise to these spaces -- gay and straight, black and white, young and old -- these progressive loci have been purged of their radical elements and replaced by a largely white, wealthy monoculture.

I will conduct interviews with those who remember these spaces as they were, and how they themselves have been affected by these changes. This presentation will also involve my own reminiscence: the soundtrack of my life as the music-loving progeny of radical parents, in the Village from the late '70s to the late '90s.

My Speakers Sessions

Sunday, March 25
 

2:15pm EDT