THIS MIGHT BE/COULD BE A TRIPLE X RATED BLOG BUT MORE IN WHAT I AM ASKING YOU TO IMAGINE THAN IN WHAT I WRITE THOUGH I WILL TRY TO KEEP IT ‘CLEAN’ BECAUSE THAT IS MY STYLE--WARNING: IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO LEARN WITH AN OPEN MIND THEN DON’T READ THIS!!!
I was reading a few different blogs on the Internet coming across the following about a new hotel in New York City and when I spotted the address all sorts of bells, whistles and alarms went off in my head plus I was flooded with memories.. Now I am not exactly sure if the hotel has been built on the same property and has been extended but I just have a feeling I am correct--if I am wrong I will add a PS when informed. :O)
Read the following blog and, very important, my comments at the end of Carlos Melia’s post.
When you have finished that blog go to this page on wikipedia.
I was very grown up for my age being able to drink in New York bars when I was 14-15 without being carded--that was back in the Ice Age when the drinking age was 18 or older. I never questioned whether it was because I looked older or because teh bar wanted young people as customers. It didn't matter to me as long as I could get in. By the way a word of advice to any male teenager going into an all male bar don't order a frozen daiquiri, especially when everyone is drinking beer or scotch but that's another blog.
I really don't remember where I heard about the baths or from who but there were many in the city at that time: Everard, St. Marks, Luxor, Penn Station, just to name a few, along with the notorious Newark baths.
My memory is different from whoever wrote the wikipedia page as I recall being told that it was owned by the PAL--Police Athletic League--and that the customers were always warned when a raid was going to take place though not always. I do remember a couple of times when it was whispered to get out as the place was going to get raided that evening and people would line up to get their valuables back.
Though I agree with most of Mr. Williams description I have a few things of my own to add. Opposite the check in desk, where after you got your key, you would check your valuables which was put in a drawer that your key locked, there was a restaurant serving coffee, sandwiches, beer, coffee and such. There would be men with towels wrapped around their waist or other guys fully dressed either waiting for a room or for a guy they had met earlier and was waiting for him so they could leave.Some guys would just socialize there are they looked over everyone coming in and out or going up or down (more about that later) the stairs.
Before you reached the floor Mr. Williams describes there was another floor that didn't have 'rooms' but lockers, cots and double bunk beds where everything that was done was open for everyone to see.
(Emlyn Williams described a visit in 1927:
Up some stairs at a desk an ashen bored man in shirtsleeves produced a ledger
crammed with illegible scrawls. I added mine, paid my dollar, was handed a key, towel and robe, hung the key on my wrist and mounted to a large floor as big as a warehouse and as high: intersecting rows of private rooms each windowless cell dark except from the glimmer from above through wire-netting shredded with dust and containing a narrow workhouse bed...[he later heard] a casual whisper, a sigh lighter than thistle-down, a smothered moan. Then appeasement: the snap of a lighter as two strangers sat back for a smoke and polite murmured small talk, such as they might exchange in a gym.)
There was a man in the center room, down the first aisle, who would take you to your room and give you the towel and robe. The robe described above just about covered an average body and most people who could would wrap the towel around their waist. The rooms had a single bulb hanging from the ceiling with a chain or piece of old sheet string to turn it on and off. Very few lights were turned on and many had their doors open. You would find guys laying down on their stomach or on their back to signal what they might be interested in. You would see guys entering rooms, then closing the door or just leaving. Some rooms would have 3-4 people in them with the doors open for more to join.
What windows the floor had were painted black and many guys would stand near them, looking up and down the aisles. At the top of the stairs was a bathroom where a lot of looks took place. There wasn't much conversation as people weren't there to talk. A celebrity might be spotted and quick whispers were heard but, in the main, they weren't 'recognized' because many people there didn't want to be recognized. More than once a person would meet a co-worker or a classmate but no words were exchanged nor did they talk about it later. I once saw my math teacher there and whether he saw me or not I don't remember but I never acknowledged seeing him there.
(TO BE CONTINUED)