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I understand that the Adonis was at the northern end of the Minnesota Strip. When I was a teenager back in the 70’s I noticed that most of the prostitution was centered closer to the Port Authority area, like around 44th 43rd, etc
Most of the time if i ever had any reason to walk on 8th Avenue in the upper 40’s back in those days it seemed quiet with hardly anyone around. However i do recall there was one afternoon when I noticed a lot of intimidating looking street hangouts (drunks, addicts, loiterers) on the block by the firehouse from 48th street going toward 47th, including a transexual hustler standing on the corner with their pimp. I remember being intimidated by the block so i ended up going east to avoid 8th Avenue
so, was the area between say 47th and 50th streets(the firehouse, the old Blarney Stone,the old Ramada Inn, the old parking lot that became Worldwide plaza) as heavy with prostitutes and criminals as it was further down? were there a lot of arrests for prostitution, drugs and other crimes between 47th and 50th? or was it safer and tamer?
there was a Tad’s too like there was on 42 bet 7-8th. In the 70’s I used to use the 42nd st and 6th Avenue subway station as an alternate to the Times Sq stations to go to and from the Port Authority because i thought it would be safer, but it was almost as bad as the Times Sq stations. and oddly, i remember XXX porn stores on 6th Avenue between 42-46th streets up to about 79 or 80 before they started building
“HOTEL” “LIQUORS” “XXX BOOKS” “PEEP SHOW” “PARK” “HARDWARE” were the main signs you would see on 8th Avenue in the 40’s
I think i remember you from the Hollywood Cinema board early last year.
you were lucky to have found hetero girls. my first trek down 8th Avenue in 1979 found only tranny hustlers instead of hetero ones. Right at 47th street, it didn’t even occur to me that prostitution was not only about hetero hookers. We ran like bats out of hell because we weren’t prepared for that kind of thing. I was 17 at the time too
in fact it was from that experience that made me leery of that part of 8th(this was by the old Biltmore property which at the time was a row of boarded up buildings) for quite awhile
oh yes, and what about between 1978 and 1980 when the old Lincoln Hotel at 700 Eighth Avenue (between 44th and 45th) was renovated into the Milford Plaza which opened in 1980. This is the one with the “M” on the roof you can see when you’re in the general area
do you have any recollection of what the old Lincoln looked like back then? If i had to guess it must have been terrible given the state of the neighborhood. must have looked horrid when undergoing renovation
what got me curious about the Ramada was i always could see the red RAMADA INN insignia logo on the top part of the building, which kind of lent an air of respectability to the street until you saw how awful the surrounding areas was, so i always wondered how that hotel managed
there was a Ho Jo’s Motor Lodge for decades a few blocks up between 51-52 street. recently it became a Hampton Inn
but the old Ho Jo’s Motor Lodge was right at the end of the prostitution district so i figured it was safer to stay there then the old Ramada
there is a Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza on B'way and 48th-49th that opened in the late 80’s, but it is several grades up from both the Ramada and HoJo’s
I just wondered what out of towners did when they arrived at the Ramada and were literally facing peep shows and XXX bookstores right across the street (right by the old Blarney Stone bar). did they go out at night on the town or take a cab back to the hotel?
do you remember the Ramada Inn on Eighth between 48th and 49th—in the mid 90’s it became a Days Inn and a few years ago became a Hilton Garden Inn when the area started to get “swanky”.
When Eighth was down and out back in the 70’s and 80’s before Worldwide Plaza was opened, I always wondered how the Ramada managed to stay in business with peep shows, XXX bookstores across the street, and all the drug selling and hustling in the area. Was that actually a tourist hotel or was it a fleabag? I remembered places like the Fulton Hotel (46th) and the Sherman (47th) were small little dives, but a national chain like Ramada sitting in the middle of all that mess, made me wonder how it survived
I remember seeing Beatlemania at The WInter Garden in September of 78 which i think was right next to the Rivoli. I always found that 46th-50th street area along B'way and 7th to be seamy but what really frightened me was 8th Avenue in the same spot like around the Venus, Capri, Eros Cinemas down by 46th, the Hollywood Cinema up by 47th, the firehouse by 48th and the big parking lot up by the old MSG. there were always types who seemed like they were under the influence hanging around those porn shops and the worst were those XXX bookstores
was it true that before the theater district cleanup, people who went to the theater left the area immediately after the show? I have often heard this that people left as soon as the show was over and wasted no time leaving the area
unless you had to cross eighth avenue between 40th and 50th street or had to cross 42 street between B'way and 8th Avenue to get back to your car or get the cab or whatever, except for those 2 spots most of the theater area was passable even after the show?
no because i always liked midtown—5th Avenue, 6th Avenue in the 50’s and 40’s. we rarely ventured past 7th Avenue back in the late 70’s or below 42 street
was prostitution on 8th Av around 48th-50th streets heavy as it was was further down or was it lighter?
what about 42 street between 6th and Broadway. there was some porn on that block, was there any trouble over there? when i was young as a teen(late 70’s) and visited midtown around the Radio City area my dad used to make a point of telling me not to go west of 6th Avenue because certain side streets were kind of unsavory. I used to love this part of midtown where the Radio City area melted into the theater district when you got west of 6th Avenue. it was kind of cool to be on 7th with all the porn and seeing those glittering skyscrapers rising above all the sleaze in the background
was there prostitution on B'way and 7th in the upper 40’s? I ask because there seemed to be an awful lot of porn from 46th to 50th both on 7th and B'way and even on side streets. 49th street between 7th and 8th especially looked like 42 street (raunchy titled theaters like the Ramrod etc) in fact i used to be intimidated to walk near 49th and B'way tho i never actually saw any criminals around there
I remember the World Theater well. It seemed like an oddity(sleaze, porn) to be on a street with those big skyscrapers rising from 6th Avenue(respectability)
I find viewing the new replacements on 8th to be dull because you don’t see any characters hanging around. The old shots of the Hollywood are cool because you can see how the surrounding area is a real red-light district with either characters, or no one there (‘cause many didn’t go there 'cause it was unsavory) and trash in the streets
gotta remember the fire house across the street from the Hollywood. attached to the fire house was a row of dingy tenements and the upper windows were abandoned. there was some kind of nasty bar at 772.
morally. heard the St Malachy Church had problems due to the area
they fixed up the 8th Ave area around the Ambassador really nice. just curious, say like 30 years ago was the corner of 49th and 8th a bad corner?
supposedly 50th street was the northern end of the “Minnesota Strip” for prostitution and drugs. was this true, was 50th and 8th as heavy with vice as farther down? In the 70’s the few times i walked past here it was pretty quiet but there was on afternoon where the atmosphere was terrible and we quickly walked off the avenue due to all the unsavory characters hanging around
Did Godspell play here in 1977? Was there a prostitution problem around the theater and the Ramada or was it decent?
the guy wearing the brim hat standing next to the prostitute, would you say that could be a pimp(didn’t they wear such hats back in the day?)? the 3 of them seem huddled close together hard to tell if the prostitute is moving about her business or if she/he is hanging with the other 2 guys
excellent photo do you have more of this section? should be 1971 or after as the H'wood opened in 71
was the street activity and street people at 47th and 8th similar to 5 blocks to the south at 42nd and 8th? or was it any tamer? would one be using the same level of caution at 47th as they would at 42 street?
this is that spot across the street from the Hollywood Cinema. The structure was abandoned for years for as long i can remember. There had to be some kind of hotel or meeting spot in there because there were always down and out people hanging there
if you look at my link to the glennkenny post that shows Robert DeNiro walking in front of the theater you will see the bldg that the Arby’s became is overflowing with trash in 1976. looks like maybe the Arby’s came later in to replace that mess.
so it was an Arbys in 1979? I wonder how long for because B Smith’s opened in 1986. Take a look at the little doorway under the marque it’s in a tawdry blue. There’s some kind of lettering it looks like it may say “all” so my next guess is does it say “all girls”? it definitely has that kind of look.