Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Party Store No More

When I heard that the Village Paper Party store over on Greenwich Ave was destroyed by fire, I was a bit saddened. It's not that I knew the people, or even patronized the joint very often, but it did play a part in a Halloween I remember with great fondness.

Decision time...picture then story? Or story then picture. We'll go with the former:

Halloween, 1996:
I don't remember if George actually told me the idea before we hit the store. I do remember him saying that we needed werewolf makeup. He said it would look more "natural" when we spread it on our skin. As for the clothes, I wore a nondescript blue hooded sweatshirt over a "TUPAC R.I.P." shirt that I got on 14th for five bucks (or maybe ten, tops). Then there was the hair. I don't remember where it came from. It was a beaded and braided wig a la Stevie Wonder (blindness not included). I think I borrowed it from George. On the evening of Halloween, George and I suited up, got in the car, and headed to the evening's destination, the place for which we went through all this preparation in the first place — Newark, New Jersey.

We were playing a show at the now only alive in our memories Pipeline. We were opening up for the Blanks 77, who were in full KISS regalia. Our drummer, Michael, dressed in his annual drunken clown costume. Or should I say that he dresses as a clown every year and just gets really drunk. It's his thing. The show went well, such as I remember it. After you play enough shows they all become a giant blur, except for the really great and the really awful ones.

After the show we walked on down to a Dunkin' Donuts for a post-show snack. None of the locals seemed to take any notice of us. I'd like to think it's because we blended in so well. We drove back to the city, and not wanting to waste good makeup, we took to the streets, and again, nobody said anything either way. We just were.

Our last stop that night was The Continental over on 3rd just by St. Mark's. It was mostly empty, but we spied a friend of ours (who shall remain nameless for reasons you'll see shortly) sitting alone in a booth. George and I knew just what to do and flopped ourselves down, one across and one next to him, and gave him a hearty greeting. He just looked at us, stunned, before he realized who it was and we all lost it. After regaining our composure, he said, "When you guys sat down the first thing I thought was, who the fuck are these niggers?"

Given that response, I'd say the night was a rousing success.

Goodnight Village Paper Party Store, wherever you are.

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