The opening of the new Varvatos boutique in the husk of CB's went pretty much as expected, didn't it?
A section of wall from CBGB covered in band fliers has been preserved under glass, and in keeping with Mr. Varvatos’s image as a rock ’n’ roll designer — his models include Iggy Pop and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden — the store is decorated with rock memorabilia and also sells vintage vinyl records and audio equipment.
“The whole purpose of coming here was to retain part of the history,” Mr. Varvatos said in an interview, as bands sound-checked before the show, “so that anybody can walk in off the street and experience part of what was here.”
“We’re not trading on CB’s at all,” said Mr. Varvatos, whose stubbly looks and Detroit accent give him the aura of an ordinary rock fan made good. (He later corrected himself, saying: “Are we using the walls to help sell the clothes? Yes.”)
Also, could Arturo Vega (former lighting tech/t-shirt designer/hanger-on for the Ramones... oh, excuse me, "creative director") be any more of a dick? You be the judge:
On the sidewalk outside a handful of protesters complained about the effects of gentrification on the city’s music scene. Rebecca Moore, a musician who is one of the founders of Take It to the Bridge, an activist group that organized the demonstration, sparred loudly with Mr. Vega. Saying that Lower Manhattan is becoming “a playground for rich people,” she shouted: “Forty-thousand-dollar-a-month rents, $1,600 jackets and $800 pants are closing music spaces in New York.”
Smiling, Mr. Vega responded: “When you are good at what you do, money comes, people. Work hard and you’ll be able to afford.”
A chorus of boos drowned him out.
Go show Take It To The Bridge some love -- what they are doing is vital if Manhattan is going to have any music scene to speak of five years from now. And you think this pattern won't repeat itself in Brooklyn? It's already well underway.