At 57 Great Jones Street, there's a little meat shop called Japan Premium Beef. It's been there for maybe a year and it has the look of the New Bowery--blank, white, expensive. Coolhunting said, "even vegetarians can appreciate its spare, minimalist decor, befitting a scene from a sci-fi flick or contemporary art installation."
They think of their meat as art--it is definitely "curated"--and sell that super-trendy wagyu for $40 to $50 a pound. The people who go in to shop look like mega-wealthy retirees who, in their dotage, have decided to dress like rock stars, in outfits from Varvatos. Do they know the history of this address?
Here's a flashback from the book Basquiat: "Friday, August 12, 1988. On the sidewalk outside 57 Great Jones Street, the usual sad lineup of crack addicts slept in the burning sun. Inside the two-story brick building, Jean-Michel Basquiat was asleep in his huge bed, bathed in blue television light. The air conditioner was broken and the room felt like a microwave oven. The bathroom door was ajar, revealing a glimpse of a black and tan Jacuzzi tub. On the ledge of the tub was a small pile of bloody syringes." Basquiat died here.
Hanging in the window of the meat shop is a blown-glass sculpture replicating sausages. Through the sausages, you can look out at one of the last rough-and-tumble corners still standing on the Bowery, though it won't be standing for long.
As Grieve has reported, Downtown Auto and Tire will be demolished to make space for a nightclub from Italy via Miami. The club is described as posh, luxurious, and chic, with a decor "outfitted in all things black, from the stylish black leather couches with silver buttons, to the black-tinted mirrors throughout, to the fleur-de-lis textured black-on-black wallpaper."
And the Bowery Tsunami keeps on rolling.