Tag Archives: greenwich village

Gay History – SEX in the 1970’s: NYC’s Christopher Street, the Trucks, and the West Side Highway Piers

Greenwich Village in New York City was a a newly sexually liberated homosexual’s dream come true in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. You could literally walk down Christopher Street in the West Village from Sheridan Sheridan Square to the piers and have as much sex as you wanted, anytime of the day or night.

There was a pay phone on the corner of 7th. Avenue and Christoper Street that would ring when a hot guy stood near it.  The caller, a very handsome closeted soap actor lived in an apartment overlooking the phone booth and when the “trick” answered the and after a few questions about sexual positions an invitation might be issued to visit the actor’s bedroom.

Further down Christopher Street  and abandoned for decades, the piers along the elevated West Side Highway became part of the Christopher Street gay cruising scene when men began wandering a few blocks over to the darker and seedier areas to cruise. Every pier, dark corner or loading dock in the was used for a sexual encounters.

Gay men would gather cruise, sunbathe (during the day) and party on the open docks and then venture into the skeletal remains of the forgotten PIER 48, a rotting wooden structure where sex could be had with a hint of danger on the side.. 

Gay men fucked on the piers, in the trucks, in alleys, doorways, bookstores, bars and backrooms, Anywhere you look on Christopher Street and along the West Side Highway today I can guarantee you that gay men fucked there in the 1970’s.

The sex was constant, boundless, free and liberating.

Back then Christopher Street was our version of a gay ancient Rome,  a never-ending bacchanal with the many bars, after-hour clubs and bath houses that had once been infamous in the gay culture but now is slowly being lost, forgotten and in some cases hidden from public view as if it was shameful and embarrassing.

Where today stands a high-end Brooklyn”clothing outpost” on the corner of Christopher and Hudson streets, was once a popular gay bookstore with a not-so-secret sex grotto downstairs that was filled with sexual satyrs doing their thing 24 hours a day.  And this was just one of many such places back then.  Backrooms, peep shows, sex clubs, bath houses, adult movie theaters, and the Central Park rambles.  It was an all you could fuck and suck buffet.

The TRUCKS were parked near the docks on the West Side Highway under the then elevated West Side Highway which is now gone along with the infamous abandoned crumbling piers.

During the day the TRUCKS were loaded with merchandise and freight unloaded from arriving ships. At night they were parked and empty and the rear of the trucks doors would be left open. The truck orgies began at around 10pm, getting busiest at around 2am. The area around the parked trucks was empty, dark, and dangerous which heightened the forbidden pleasures found within.  

Anyone who stepped foot into the boarded-up dock terminals at the piers or to the TRUCKS to have sex were “playing at danger,” they were experiencing the thrill of breaking the rules. But there was real danger in walking on the crumbling piers, especially at night, and the men who had sex on the piers or in trucks parked nearby were risking encounters with police, gay bashers, and muggers. Arthur Bell’s 1975 exposé in the Village Voice focused on the brutal murder of a waterfront gay bar patron, (The murder of Addison Verill) warning that if you go to Pier 48 “you take your life in your hands.”

To Jonathan D. Katz, and others the piers which line New York’s riverfront serve as evidence of a lost civilization — particularly for the city’s gay community.

“This group of gay men built this beautiful utopia and inhabited it. To see 4,000 naked men laying outside on a Sunday afternoon on the piers…it’s kind of inconceivable today.

The freedom with which men lay naked in the sun or fucked in the burned-out sheds epitomized the spirit of the movement. 

Raw, uninhibited, and passionate.”

May we never forget it.

.

Piers
Piers2
Christopher Street Bookstore

Gay Man Attacked and Beaten In NYC Hotel Elevator on Halloween

Gay Man Attacked and Beaten In NYC Hotel Elevator on Halloween

 

A group of costumed assailants attacked a 36-year-old man after hurling an anti-gay slurs at him in the elevator of a “upscale” West Village hostel/hotel, police said.

Cops released a surveillance video showing the suspects waiting in a hallway of the Jane Hotel on Jane St. and West St. around 12:50 a.m. Sunday, moments before the attack. They can be seen wearing Halloween costumes.

Once inside the elevator, one suspect made an anti-gay remark to the victim, police said. The attackers then punched the man and kicked him in the face.

The victim of the homophobic attack went to Mount Sinai Hospital to be treated for a, officials said.

Cops described the suspects as as five men and two women, all white and in their 20’s.

Police are asking anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at (800) 577 TIPS.

Lets bring these animals to justice.

Video – Surveillance Footage Of The West Village Gay Bashing of Damian Furtch In NYC

On March 27th, Damien Futch and his friend stopped at a McDonalds in the West Village in NYC after working their shift at the The Pink Tea Cup an upscale, southern-style comfort food restaurant just blocks away.

Damien noticed two men staring at them. Damien and his friend ordered their food and waited and Damien stepped outside to make a phone call in an effort to avoid the tension in the restaurant and remove myself from the situation.

The two two men stepped out after him and asked if I Damien had a problem.. Then, all of a sudden the one of the men hit me on the right side of my face causing him to stumble into oncoming traffic and was then bashed three more times to the face  Luckily, Damien was able to flee his attackers and get to a hospital. The police were called, a report was filed, and it including information about the gay slurs used against him in the attack.

Police are still looking for the two gay bashers involved.

“I thought I was safe in the city I loved but apparently wearing fluorescent colored clothing and pink shoelaces really bother some fucking assholes to blind side me and hit me,” Damien wrote on his Facebook page.

Most crimes are crimes of opportunity, including hate crimes. If an opportunity presents itself where the thug can perpetrate, that’s when crimes occur.  So PLEASE everyone be careful out there.  Especially now, in this climate of intolerance and hate that’s being promoted by the far Christian Right now is not the time to take chances.  Don’t stop being who you are just BE CAREFUL and if all possible PROTECT YOURSELF and OTHERS by WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY

Three Men Officially Indicted On Gay Hate Crimes In NYC’s Greenwich Village Attacks

Matthew Francis, 21 and Christopher Orlando, 17 and  Frederick Giunta, 25, from Queens  were indicted Tuesday for two incidents last month of alleged LGBT hate crimes in NYC’s West Village.

Francis, and Orlando,, both of Staten Island, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and attempted robbery as hate crimes after allegedly attacking Benjamin Carver in the bathroom at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street on Oct. 3.  Francis made anti-gay statements and punched Carver, was charged with attempted robbery as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon. Orlando was charged with attempted robbery as a hate crime, and assault as a hate crime. Both face up to eight years in prison

In a seperate case Frederick  Gunta pleaded not guilty to attacking bartender Greg Davis, 38, at Julius Bar on West 10th Street, and shouting racist and anti-gay slurs at customers. Giunta is also accused of trying to steal a wallet from a patron at Ty’s bar at 114 Christopher St. on Oct. 11.  Guinta, charged with attempted robbery and assault as a hate crime, faces up to five years in prison for the robbery, and one year for the hate crime.

“Attacks such as these not only harm individual victims, they also threaten entire communities in New York City,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement. “We created the Hate Crimes Unit to identify and then to build strong cases against those who commit bias crimes.”

Police Inspector Seymore Pine Who Led The Raid On The Stonewall Inn Dies At Age 91

Deputy Police Inspector Seymore Pine who lead the New York City Police on the raid of the Stonewall Inn in 1969, the act that helped start the gay liberation movement,  has died at the age of 91 at an assisted-living center in Whippany, N.J.

Pine, who later apologized for his role in the raid, was commander of the New York Police Department’s vice squad for Lower Manhattan when he led eight officers into the Stonewall Inn, just after midnight on June 28, 1969.  The club, on Christopher Street near Seventh Avenue South, was owned by members of the Mafia. Inspector Pine later said he conducted the raid on orders from superiors.

In 2004,  Pine spoke during a discussion of the Stonewall uprising at the New-York Historical Society. At the time of the raid, he said, the police “certainly were prejudiced” against gays, “but had no idea about what gay people were about.”

The department regularly raided gay clubs for two reasons, he said. First, he insisted, many clubs were controlled by organized crime; second, arresting gay people was a way for officers to improve their arrest numbers. “They were easy arrests,” he said. “They never gave you any trouble” — at least until that night. Someone in the audience said Inspector Pine should apologize for the raid, he did.

Pine has been later quoted as saying ‘If what I did helped gay people, then I’m glad.’

SO GAY! – LGBT Weekly News Roundup 1/30/2022

Gay History – June 3: 18th Century Lesbians, William Haines Hollywood Gay Bashing, Allen Ginsberg and MORE

June 3rd

1708 – Anne Horton and Alice Pickford were married in England. They were one of two female couples whose marriages were registered in the parish of Taxal,  Except for the notation in the records no other information is available on the Sapphic couple. .

1926 – Birth date of poet Allen Ginsberg one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s.  Ginsberg vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem “Howl”, in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.

In 1957, “Howl” attracted widespread publicity when it became the subject of an obscenity trial, as it depicted heterosexual and homosexual sex at a time when sodomy laws made homosexual acts a crime in every U.S. state. “Howl” reflected Ginsberg’s own homosexuality and his relationships with a number of men, including Peter Orlovsky, his lifelong partner.  Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled that “Howl” was not obscene, adding, “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms? (Yes the straight judge said “vapid”.)

Ginsberg was also present at the Stonewall Riots.

Allen Ginsberg passed away April 5, 1997.

1930 – American fantasy novelist Marion Zimmer Bradley was born on this date. Early in her career, writing as Morgan Ives, Miriam Gardner, John Dexter, and Lee Chapman, she produced several works outside the speculative fiction genre, including some gay and lesbian pulp fiction novels.

1936William Haines and his lover James Shield were severely beaten by members of the White Legion, a Los Angeles racist organization.

In 1930 William Haines was Hollywood’s number-one box-office draw–talented, handsome, and a romantic lead.  Off-screen however Haines was openly gay and refused to compromise or hide his sexuality which ultimately led him to being booted out of the movie business by Louis B. Mayer. Forced to give up acting, Haines went on to become a top interior designer to the stars and by his side through it all was his lover, Jimmie Shields;  But on June 1st 1936 members of a white supremacists group dragged both Haines and Sheilds  from their El Porto, Manhattan Beach home and beat them, mercilessly because a neighbor had accused the two of propositioning his son.  The incident was widely reported at the time but Manhattan Beach police never brought charges against the couple’s attackers. The child molestation accusations against Haines and Shields were unfounded and the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence..

The couple finally settled in the Hollywood community of Brentwood and their business prospered until their retirement in the early 1970s, except for a brief interruption when Haines served in World War II . Their clients included Betsy Bloomingdale, Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s “Sunnylands” estate

Haines and Shields remained together until Haines’ death in 1973.  Their fifty-year relationship led their best friend, Joan Crawford, to call them the “happiest married couple in Hollywood.”

1967 – Birth date of  Anderson Cooper.

1969 – Police entered Greenwich Village in New York with fifteen paddy wagons and arrested anyone they suspected of being gay.  Police harassment is common place in the Village and tensions are on the rise and will continue to until the end of the month when the Stonewall Riots occur

1980 – In California, gay rights measures were defeated in Davis, San Jose, and Santa Clara in referendum elections.

1981 – A Maryland court upheld the state sodomy law, including prohibitions against heterosexual sodomy. The written decision included quotes from Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Exodus.

1984 – Harvey Fierstein won his third Tony Award for best book of a musical for “La Cage Aux Folles”.

1989 – The United States postal service issues the first “Lesbian and Gay Pride” postage stamp.

1998 – United Methodists in Central Texas voted to reject a proposal to break ties with church leaders who support same-sex unions and the ordination of homosexuals.

2007 – Several hundred gays marched in the Latvian capital city of Riga under the watchful eyes of police who in 2006 were accused of doing nothing while gays were attacked by anti-gay fascists.