A quick trip downtown and 30 years ago...
January 24, 2015 11:00 AM   Subscribe

"All in all he "shot over 1,900 hours of tape over a period of seven years, capturing himself and his friends in the glossy façade of Manhattan's downtown life... He sought to tape all of New York's citizens, including its outcasts, striving to candidly capture their lives. He taped anything and everything that interested him—outrageous performances in bars and clubs, swinging house parties, chaotic gallery openings, park and street festivals, late-night ruminations of his friends, absurd conversations with taxi drivers, prosaic sunset walks with his dog on the then-still-existing west side piers." Sullivan died of a heart attack in 1989, just as he was preparing to produce his own cable television show." -- Nelson Sullivan's New York City.
posted by The Whelk (12 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Amazing stuff. Love it. I could sit and watch it for hours. Thanks for posting.
posted by merocet at 11:49 AM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe I'm romanticizing the past, or something, but seeing this makes me miss the Manhattan of my childhood. The last time I was there it felt so different.
posted by teponaztli at 11:54 AM on January 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I just did sit and watch it for hours. Thanks for the post.
posted by salishsea at 12:06 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

yay! i'm glad to see him get his due. a friend of mine had his hands on copies of these a million years ago and would show them around town whenever he got the chance (this and The American Music Show from Atlanta Public Access TV which also deserves attention, that had a young Lady Bunny and a ton of other Atlanta people that became NY nightlife people). one of my favorite segments is with Sylvia Miles going on some obtuse freakout on a road trip. i also love when he's kind of giving a tour of Ganesvoort St. and he points out Darinka the hostess for Florent just kind of hanging out in the window.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 12:31 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow. That walk from Times Square to the East Village made me intensely nostalgic. Boomboxes! Constant honking! The Mets were about to win it all! I want to revisit it...
posted by languagehat at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Amazing. And can you imagine all those huge interior spaces where RuPaul and Nelson and everyone crashed are worth millions now? There's a whole scene that just can't happen in large urban areas anymore because everyone is priced out of them.
posted by xingcat at 2:23 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

So. Much. Smoking.
posted by The Whelk at 2:39 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow, Ru looks so young!

And fly as hell.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:09 PM on January 24, 2015

More recently his townhouse was a classy restaurant/bar. NY Times review.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:15 AM on January 25, 2015

Wow. This is fascinating. I was a child when these videos were shot, growing up gay in south Georgia. This world would have been as foreign to me in my youth as a city on Venus.
posted by robstercraw at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2015

Fascinating, thank you so much, The Whelk!

I saw one of the videos was June 6, 1986. I think I was on a family trip to New York then and we had a very distinctive van. Against all odds, I was watching the video trying to spot it :) Still pretty incredible to think I might have been somewhere in the city at the very moment that was being filmed.

The world is an incredibly complex place with so many parallel stories taking place.
posted by PigAlien at 7:59 AM on January 29, 2015

... and I have always liked RuPaul, but these candid home videos really give a glimpse as to what he's like behind the scenes, and he seems very likable, creative and intelligent. He appears to deserve every ounce of his fame.
posted by PigAlien at 8:00 AM on January 29, 2015

« Older Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway turned...   |   Token Sucking Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments