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Bangkok's Night Scene In Review


Fagin's Brat Pack
- A PROLIFERATION OF POCKET-SIZE PICKPOCKETS




Bangkok,
01 June 2006
William R. Morledge
 
Hypocrite Of The Decade
The Twilight Zone - New Bar Area
Pink Panther Down!  - End of an Era
Ask Us (almost) Anything
A Thai Smile......

June's Nightlife Newsfront
GRAFFITI - Bangkok Style !
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         The MIDNITE HOUR first reported the problem of Bangkok's child pickpockets in our April 2006 edition <link>, and included a photo of a young 'flower seller' when he actually had his hand in my (empty) shirt pocket.    (We have reprinted this photo immediately below).   At that time we were not overly concerned, seeing that there were very few of them, and they apparently were entirely inept at 'artfully dodging' anything at all.   
Caught in the act.   This urchin is pressing his flowers against my shirt as a diversion, while attempting to remove the contents of my top pocket with his free hand.

         And although we likely are not the first to report it, there have been several others reporting on this same issue subsequent to that time, most notably Stickman <link>, and Asiabugle.   From their reports, our recent observations, and additional recent reports from several of our readers, it is apparent the problem has gone from bad to epidemic.

         The small pack of street urchins originally populating the dark stretch of Soi 4 near the Dynasty Inn, has grown, as has their territory.   We have witnessed these children working Sukhumvit Road from Soi 4 down to the top of Soi 11, with mini-mobs concentrating on the outside clientele of Gulliver's on Soi 5, and the open-air Thai restaurants opposite the Bier Garten on Soi 7.   They no longer just sell, or pretend to sell flowers, they also offer everything from chewing gum, to dark glasses, and shoeshines - anything to distract your attention.   And be advised, nay, be warned, this is not just some group of kids who decided to organize themselves into a sidewalk Mafia - their 'handlers' are professionals.
This young 'flower seller' launches himself -literally- into a passing farang, while his 'minder', the young teenage girl in the background, looks on.    She became extremely abusive, thrusting a finger in my face, ranting that I could not take photos of her or her 'charges'.   Rest assured, however, she is not the kingpin - the 'adult supervision' stays in the background....

         These street urchins, variously called "Cambodians" or "Vietnamese" by the locals, have been very carefully groomed in how to distract the unsuspecting, but they are also told other little tidbits, such as, "Never let anyone take your picture."   Their incentives are great - with the carrot being items such as their own mobile phone, and the stick being the stick - they are physically abused by their handlers if, for example, their 'legitimate' sales for the night fall short.   -This from MIDNITE HOUR's own interviews (in Thai) with more than one of the little devils who were reluctant, but eventually willing to get into a conversation with this farang.

         A friend of over twenty years, and longtime Bangkok resident recently contacted us with yet another account of these juvenile thieves.   He was walking with his wife on the sidewalk between Soi 3 and Soi 5 Sukhumvit Road, when he found himself surrounded by several street urchins ostensibly selling flowers.   They were tugging on his arms and clothing, when suddenly another farang coming from the other direction yelled out, "He's got your phone," - whereupon the brat pack scattered.
Another flower urchin plies the trade inside (when allowed) and outside the Morning 2 Night, Soi 4.

         The two farang set out after the street urchin who had taken the mobile phone, and quickly apprehended him, only to find that the kid had ditched the phone in a tree planter.   My friend was one of the lucky ones, he got his phone back.   But this did not deter him from summoning Bangkok's Finest.

.          While they waited for the Men In Too-Tight Uniforms to show up, they noticed that the apprehended child thief took out his own mobile phone and was calling for help.   (No, we are not making this up.)

         When the Men In Tan arrived, they made a quick assessment, and pronounced that there was no evidence - after all, didn't my friend have his phone back?   And now for the kicker - as my friend was leaving, he saw the urchin thief laughing and joking over the incident with none other than those selfsame Men In Tan.
An innocent face does not imply innocence.   A clean-up of those gangsters who are illegally working these children is long overdue.

         Enough is enough.   It is more than obvious that calling the police on a case-by-case basis is entirely non-productive, and -as described above- there is a very great likelihood that some of the Men In Tan are already monitoring the situation to fit their own needs.   

         It's way past time - it really is.   If the Thai authorities are truly concerned about their image abroad, they will immediately put a stop to this child abuse and thievery.   We encourage anyone encountering these child thieves to not only report it to the police, but make contact with the Tourism Authority Of Thailand, giving them full particulars.   You can contact The Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand  here <link>



- GAY BAR AREA HITS CRITICAL MASS

*Click* to Map
         Soi Twilight, Bangkok 'newest' Night Entertainment Area, has actually been a Night Scene for years, however it has recently added several new Night Entertainment Venues, and in the process, has attained 'Critical Mass'.   -It now has enough Nightspots within to be an entertainment 'draw' in, and of itself, and has sufficient diversity to keep night revellers entertained for the entire evening, should they so desire.   But be advised, this Entertainment Area caters almost exclusively to gays - unlike Soi Katoey, which, while predominantly gay, has a smaller but significant percentage of hetero custom.   And while all are welcome, Soi Twilight may or may not be everyone's 'cup of tea'.

Enter the Twilight Zone.   This view of Soi Twilight is looking in from the Suriwong Road end - visitors are greeted by a sea of Vegas-strength neon - and Patpong-strength door touts.

         MIDNITE HOUR passed through Soi Twilight a little over six months ago, and at that time, they had approximately eight establishments that could qualify as Night Entertainment Venues, but we did notice that there were several shops being renovated.   This month we made the revisit to check on whether the new construction (renovations) resulted in a significant increase in Nitespots.   We were quite unprepared for the surge; there are now fifteen such Venues, to include Bar Beers, Lounges, Show Bars, A Go-Go bars, a Massage Parlor, a 'Cabaret', and a Karaoke Lounge, not to mention a gay 'beauty shop', and small restaurants.

The New Twilight bar was the Nitespot that started the ball rolling - and in the process, lent it's name to both the Night Entertainment Area and the Soi' .

*Click* to
Photo Page
   The story of Soi Twilight, the history, begins almost exactly forty years ago when a sole Night Entertainment Venue opened at the Surawong Road end of the unnamed soi.   It was the Twilight bar, soon to be called New Twilight, and was the contemporary of the few other gay bars opening up in Bangkok in places like Gaysorn, and Silom Soi 4 (later to be called Soi Katoey), and New Road near Surawong.   The number of bars to open in this soi grew slowly, and until recently, no one could have guessed it would become a viable Night Entertainment Center in it's own right.   And as there are a number of shops in Soi Twilight at the Rama IV Road end which are not Night Entertainment Venues, we can anticipate that the Soi will continue to expand, entertainment-wise.

         The above-mentioned New Twilight bar is no longer in business (recently bought out by Hot Male), but it was the New Twilight which got things kicked off, and it was the New Twilight which set the tone for the Soi.   And if you are asking around, or want to go there by taxi, the local community know the location as Soi Twilight.   So, for the historical record, the New Twilight bar gets the nod for Seminal Bar for this Night Entertainment Area.

Looking toward Surawong Road from the middle of Soi Twilight.   As is apparent - the Soi becomes a "Walking Street" each evening.

         As Soi Twilight appears to cater to mostly Expat custom, it definitely qualifies as a Night Entertainment Area under the MIDNITE HOUR's purview.   Keep on keeping on....




HYPOCRITE OF THE DECADE AWARD -

Gag Reflex
- POLITICAL  PROJECTILE  VOMIT

         Largely overlooked by the local English language Media is a Night Entertainment news story so outrageous -so laughable- that it could have happened only here in Thailand.   That the story also provides us with our first HYPOCRITE OF THE DECADE Award only makes it juicier.

         Earlier this year, a very large building was nearing construction completion on Rachadapisek Road.   As the finishing touches were being put on, they announced that it was to be yet another Steam-And-Cream Massage Parlor.   In that the new structure is located on Rachadapisek, a road which has for decades been the center for such establishments, this raised no eyebrows.   Well, almost no eyebrows.....
This is the Massage Parlor that remains technically "under construction".

         It seems that there was one very prominent national politician whose eyebrows went virtually out of control in a fit of outraged modesty.   Exhibiting all the signs of shock-and-awe, he embarked on a one-man crusade, protesting bitterly that this new Den of Sin was being built near, well rather near, a school.   And in spite of the fact that it's students have for years been passing more than a dozen such establishments on their way to and from this school every day, the above-mentioned Massage Parlor still managed to shake every righteous bone in this upstanding politician's body.
This school, the Triam Udomsuksa Pattanakarn Rachada School, unwittingly came under the 'moral patronage' of an 'outraged' national politician.

         And due to this august national politician's vehement protests, and the high-profile coverage in the vernacular Press, construction was immediately stopped - the building has never been completed.   And now MIDNITE HOUR challenges you, the reader, to take a wild, insane guess as to the identity of this national politician, this pillar-of-the-community who has taken it upon himself to champion the cause of decency, propriety & respectability.
         Go ahead, take a wild guess....
Graphic out-take credit : Apichart Jinakul, Bangkok Post
"Sia Ang" has found the transition to national politics to be dead-easy.   Here he holds yet another Press Conference with his usual grace and decorum.

         If you guessed old "Sia Ang", 'Mr Hot Tub' himself, give yourself full marks.   With all the (feigned) zeal of a convert, Chuwit Kamolwisit has placed the hat of virtue upon his own head as he champions the cause of innocent students everywhere.   For those of you not familiar with Chuwit Kamolwisit, he is the very person who in recent years, rose to infamy and enormous personal wealth from his string of Rachadapisek Brothel Massage Parlors.   (He once bragged publicly -at the Bangkok Foreign Correspondents Club- that even many years ago when he first started out, he was earning over "a million baht a night" from the sweat of his multi-talented 'massage' girls.)

         Adding insult to injury, at the time he was involved up to his eyebrows in his now famously outrageous "Trays Of Rolexes" Police Bribery Scandal, Chuwit Kamolwisit was brought up on separate, additional charges of having high-school aged girls illegally employed as 'masseuses' at his own steam-and-cream massage parlors, which were also located just down the street from that very high school.   Now THAT'S what we here at MIDNITE HOUR call a true, dedicated and died-in-the-wool hypocrite of the first order - and may he live long, and longer, in these interesting times he has helped create.





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  •             
     Historical Minutiae Dept.

     ASK US (ALMOST ANYTHING 


    The Opera Hotel
    "Hello,
           Question for the site:    What ever happened to the Opera Hotel, frequented by certain military types** many years ago?   I trust that your search efforts will meet with the usual success.   

          F.C.W."
    [ **' The Opera' was the unofficial "R&R HQ" in Bangkok for S.O.G. - US Army Special Operations Group - whose missions included on-the-ground recon into North Vietnam and Laos during the Conflict In Southeast Asia in the '60's & '70s. ]
    Greetings;
             The Opera Hotel still stands - a mollusk on the Bangkok landscape.   Although virtually unchanged, it is now almost completely surrounded by high-rise structures.


    The Opera Hotel is "a little more than 40 years old" according to one long-time staff.   It is virtually unchanged from the early days; the swimming pool is behind the block wall to the left.
    Photo contributed by J. North


    In decades past, the Opera Hotel Coffee Shop provided little in terms of actual Night Entertainment, but it did have its moments.....

          For more interesting background on Bangkok's hotels visit :
    Old Bangkok website.

    <http://www.oldbangkok.com> <link>



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    Historical Research
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    William R Morledge







    Rumor Of The Month
    June 2006


    " Where there's   "

          Psychologists say that the spreading of rumors and conspiracy theories is a desperate attempt by the promulgators to self-aggrandize.   "Rumor" is defined as "a synergistic fusion of no-fault confabulation and chain-reaction speculation."   Nevertheless, there is no stopping rumormongering - and MIDNITE HOUR again, most tongue-in-cheekishly, presents the most outrageous / prevalent rumor to cross our desks this past month:


    "The creator of a very popular Bangkok Nightlife Website is looking for a buyer for his column." ( We here at MIDNITE HOUR sincerely hope this is not true.)






         MIDNITE HOUR presents our monthly recap of the NEWS on Bangkok's Expat Night Scene.   Let the June 2006 Follies begin.....

    PATPONG I
    MAP
                The Queen's Castle 1 has very prominently announced (via new neon) that they are now just plain Queen's Castle.   And should we also note that the Queen's Castle III is now no longer making any pretense at 'renovations', we might likely assume that the King's Group is going to run with just the remaining two upstairs show bars (Queen's Castle II is still in operation just across the street).
    PATPONG I

                The Kitchen X, mentioned last issue, did open in May as advertised, however when we went upstairs (next to King's Castle II) and let ourselves in, we had to wake the waiters up, because the bartendee refused to take our order.   We're not sure we will ever understand what was going on, but we do know that we won't be going back to try.   Good luck, gang - we suspect you are going to need it....
    File photo         
    PATPONG I

                Don't blink, or you will miss it.   The smallest bar on Patpong I, or anywhere else we can think of, doesn't have a name.   This bar beer is a very narrow shophouse wide, and about one meter deep - using the sidewalk as it's serving area.   It offers about six kinds of beer, and that's it.   Nevertheless, it has it's share of custom.   They are located past King's Corner, nearer to Surawong Road.   Welcome them to the free-for-all.
    PATPONG I


    PATPONG II
    MAP
                The big news this last month was the closing of the venerable Bar & Pub The Pink (which has been the real name of The Pink Panther A Go-Go since the January 1997 crackdown).   The 'Pink Panther' was the last of the "old" A Go-Go's on Patpong II - literally the end of an era.   Closing along with it was the upstairs bar, which, when the authorities were looking, went by the name The Pink La Panthera, and when they weren't looking, went by the name "The Pink Panther", however this was no great loss -basically a less than savory pay-for-show bar- (who needs it?)      We should note that the recently completed bar beer in front is still in operation, and it -so far- has gotten away with calling itself  The Pink Panther.
    All that remains of the 'Pink Panther' entranceway that has greeted decades of Bangkok's night-crawlers.   RIP.   Renovations on a new, and expanded Night Venue are proceeding on a 'crash' basis.


    (File photo)
    The outside bar beer, reopened in October of last year after extensive renovations, is up and running full-tilt - still boasting the original The Pink Panther name.   At least for the time being....
      PATPONGII

                 Not often are we pleased to announce the closing of a Night Entertainment Venue, but there is the occasional exception.   Located immediately next to the now-closed 'Pink Panther', the Screw / Boy / Go Go Bar has closed, and immediately started undergoing demolition.   Good riddance - they were one of the bars that continually had door touts out on the sidewalk physically harassing passers-by.   Judging from the extent of the renovations going on there and next door, one wonders if a new, combined super-Venue might be in the works....
                PATPONG I I

                 The interior of the Plaza Massage & Turkish Bath has been completely gutted by fire.   However judging by the fact that they still have active door touts, and the occasional girl sitting out by the front door (pointing at the short-time hotel across the street), they haven't completely shut down operations.    They will be finishing renovations in about a month.   -At which time, they intend to carry on where they left off.   They are also known as Plaza Onsen and Plaza Zone.
    File photo
    PATPONG I I

                 Last month we announced the opening of Vegas Member Club, and mentioned that we would get back to you with details.   Well, the 'details' are, after wandering around inside without being noticed, is that it is an office.   Apologies for the 'false alarm'.   Scratch this one from the rolls.
    PATPONG I I

                 We at MIDNITE HOUR haven't given enough emphasis to the "Internet cafes" that have become a permanent appendage to every Expat Night Entertainment Area in Thailand.   Invariably, a large part of an Internet Cafe's steady custom is the Night Entertainment employees themselves, coming in to check email from their sometimes-formidable list of gig Farang, or to go online with the webcam to someone in Denmark, or Germany, or you name it.   'Hello My Big Big Honey' has gone totally electronic, no question about it.   'Supplemental income' remains the name of the game.
    This Internet Cafe is located just upstairs, and across the street from Electric Blue on Patpong II.
    PATPONG I I


    SOI COWBOY
    MAP
                A couple of dancers from the Five Star A Go-Go Bar share a barstool out in the Soi.   The one behind in the white satin robe awaits her next set, while the one in front is on EWR.      [ EWR, or Early Work Release is actually Angeles City (Philippines) bar terminology for "Pay Bar" here in Thailand - which we thought to be an interesting turn of phrase.    (Courtesy JC & The Gang at Margarita Station) <link> ]
    SOI COWBOY

                It looks like Tony's is flashing us some new neon.   Looking good - keep on keeping on.
    SOI COWBOY
                
    - In the LAND OF SMILES -

             This month the MIDNITE HOUR awards the "Thai Smile" to an attractive "P.R. Girl" on Soi Cowboy.   With a vivacious personality to match her smile, she is definitely the right young lady for the job.
    SOI  COWBOY


    NANA PLAZA
    MAP
                We had not expected the Pretty Lady to resurface any time soon.   This is one time we are glad we were wrong.   It looks like they sorted out whatever legal problems they had and they are back - Rock 'n Roll A Go-Go remains the modus operandi.   Welcome back to the sideshow.
    Photo with permission
    NANA PLAZA


    SOI DEAD ARTISTS(Soi 33)
    MAP
                The fat lady sang quite suddenly last month at the Shamrock Irish Club.   Opening only in October of last year, they had a very brief run at it, indeed.   -And before anyone could take note of their sudden departure, the CK's Sports Bar, under new (Finnish) management, had popped up in it's place.   With no shortage of neon, it shouldn't be hard to spot - just across the street from the Renoir Club.   May the Fates smile as they cast their lot with the rest....
    SOIDEADARTISTS

                The Koi Gokoro Club and Karaoke up and did their final sayonara this May, shoving the last chit in the cup and rolling up the red carpet before month's end.   Open since February of 2004, they never really got ahead of the power curve.   The premises are up for lease (see lower photo), interested parties can call for info.

          SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS

                The time has come to call a spade a spade - and to bid adieu to Degas Club, one of the "founding" Dead Artists Bars.   We can no longer take their 'renovation' sign seriously.   Open in 1992, they were only the fifth Nitespot there, following the Renoir Club, the Vincent Van Gogh, the EA Manet Club (closed) and the Monet Club.   Historians take note; the Degas Club' actual date of closure was February of this year.
    The faded bronze plaque, in need of a good polishing, tells the tale.
          SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS

                All that remains of Lucky Luciano's (closed in January of this year) is this slightly incongruous shot of pop-icon Marilyn Monroe in her most famous, most copied pose.   - Even the bar's "For Sale - 17 Million Baht" sign has been taken down.
          SOI  DEAD  ARTISTS


    SOI KATOEY
    MAP
                The Telephone Pub & Restaurant has now added "Lounge", becoming the Telephone Pub, Restaurant & Lounge.   Whatever turns their crank...   They remain one of the busiest Night Venues on the Soi, as the below curbside pic might indicate.
    SOIKATOEY

                Pool Boyz Club (meant to be a gay Pool Bar) has fallen under the jackboot after only a six-month run for the money.   But it hasn't phased Bobby in the least - he will be making the front portion into Po' Boy Cafe (which should be opening right about......now), and the back portion will become the Hideaway.   In actual fact, the Hideaway Pool Bar is in operation already, it is just awaiting some new neon.   The Po' Boy Cafe will be an open-fronted Thai (Central & Isan) restaurant.   Let the good times roll.
    SOIKATOEY


    TOBACCO ROAD
    MAP
                The new fence, which we thought was a security measure for the future parking lot at Tobacco Road (Soi Zero) is actually an attempt at 'beautification' - meant to hide the eyesore that is Tobacco Road from the foreign dignitaries here for the 60th Anniversary of the King's Coronation celebrations.   The bars within continue to operate on a day-to-day basis.   No one is sure when "D-Day" is - most are worried that the last day of business for the bars within will be within the next few days.   MIDNITE HOUR will be keeping a finger on the pulse, and will advise.
    TOBACCO ROAD

                 Gone, but not gone, the Emu Bar has popped back up out of it's crypt this month, and had an active crew watching football (soccer) on the teev when we passed by the other night.   In other words, business as usual.   Welcome back to the big uphill.
    File photo
    TOBACCO ROAD


    QUEEN'S PARK PLAZA
    MAP
                Opening last month, the Cho Cho Bar 2 got their new neon up - as promised (see our last month's issue).   Business seemed to be cooking along when we visited last weekend.   Keep on truckin'.

    QUEEN'SPARKPLAZA

                The X-Bar has, also as promised, done a name-change to Cho Cho Bar I.   That, however, was the only change - same friendly service.   As mentioned last month, and as might logically be expected, both the Cho Cho's are owned and managed by the same people.   The beat goes on.
    QUEEN'SPARKPLAZA


    SUKHUMVIT 1 PLAZA
    MAP
                The Junk Bar (second floor) will have a surprise for those who haven't seen it in a few weeks.   It has gone from a single loc open bar beer to a double-wide air-conditioned disco-lounge.   We arrived just in time for their "reopening party", and the place was jumpin'.   I spoke with the owner, whom I have known since the Easy Square days (she ran the 4 U Bar), and she said the official-looking Man In A Too-Tight Uniform was on hand that night to insure the Junk Bar didn't stay open one minute later than 06:00 a.m. in the morning (that's not a misprint).   Looks like Josephine's on the roof has some competition.   We wish them all best - these late-night Nitespots have to walk a very tenuous line between being 'popular', and too obviously flaunting the official closing times.   Shake it, don't break it, gang.
    Same old Junk Bar sign, but don't judge a book by it's cover.....
      SUKHUMVIT1PLAZA


    SOI EDEN
    MAP
                Somebody is doing something right on Soi Eden.   Last month, we covered the opening of the downstairs-upstairs The Ring Bar / The Ring Fashion Massage.   This month, the (French) owner has expanded not one but two shophouses into the Soi in preparation for opening the Magic Table.   It is anticipated that Magic Table will open mid month (June 15th), at which time The Ring, both upstairs and downstairs, will revert to all Fashion Massage, and the Magic Table will be a lounge-pool bar.   We'll lay a marker down on this one and get back with full details.
      SOIEDEN

    Door Art Of The Month
    Award

                This month MIDNITE HOUR gives the nod for best 'Door Art' to Tarntip Healthy Massage.   They have gone to considerable effort in decorating their entranceway with some very attractive 'classical' Thai art.
          SOI  EDEN


    OTHER NIGHTSPOTS OF NOTE
                There was a time when Woodstock was King at Nana Plaza - at it's peak, it was the hottest A Go-Go there, with arguably the best sound system (not to mention an enormous library of 'classic' rock music).   Somewhere along the way, it reverted to a 'Rock & Roll Pub & Restaurant' - but even that was not all bad - with one of the best menus on the Soi.

                But then in February of 2005 it closed down - selling out to the Rainbow group, paving the way for construction of Rainbow 4 A Go-Go.   Rumors were flying as to whether or not they would reopen, and if so, where.   And, eventually, they finally reopened - in the Side Soi 13 off of Soi Thonglor (55) Sukhumvit.   
             A view of Woodstock's downstairs bar as viewed from the dining area.

             The new place, now officially known as Woodstock Bar & Grill, seems smaller, as it is spread out on three floors.   The ground floor is the bar / restaurant with the same great menu - they must have brought their chef with them.   The second floor is a snooker table and a small bar.   The 3rd floor is a Sports Bar-Lounge, with large screen TV.
             This is the Woodstock logo.   By the way, same great rock & blues music at the Bar / Restaurant.
    SOI  13  OFF  OF  SOI  THONGLOR  (SOI  55)  SUKHUMVIT  ROAD




    NO  NEWS  IS  GOOD  NEWS  DEPARTMENT
    WASHINGTON SQUARE
    MAP
    (No News)

    SOI TWILIGHT
    MAP
    (No News)




    VICARIOUS  ART  CRIMES     # 10

    MIDNITE HOUR's

    GRAFFITI IN THE NEWS -

    Spraycan Ban Axed

    - N.Y. CITY's COURT DRUBBING

             Spearheaded by New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, the City of New York passed an anti-graffiti law late last year.   The law became effective at the beginning of this year.

    Marc Ecko meets the press after arguing in federal court that the city "went too far".

             This new law, which banned the sale and/ or possession of spray can paint and wide-tip markers to anyone under the age of twenty-one, immediately came under fire from several quarters.   Their common-cause objection to this law was that it was in direct violation of rights guaranteed in the First Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States.   Or to say it more simply, the law was unconstitutional.

             Opposition to the law continued to grow - and get organized. Last month, seven young artists sued New York City over the anti-graffiti law, saying it violated their constitutional right to free speech.   The group of seven was backed by popular New York personality and fashion designer Marc Ecko.   The suit names Vallone and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying they have "waged a personal war against graffiti art and graffiti artists, fueled by their personal, subjective distaste for the art form."

             The issue was taken up, not in a Municipal Court, but a Federal Court.   Councilman Vallone attempted to discredit the plaintiff's efforts by attacking Marc Ecko's motives - saying he was only trying to grab headlines to help promote his new video game - his claim: Ecko "...is hiding behind free speech rights...".    -Perhaps this is the appropriate time to remind the obviously Stalinist New York Councilman that if something is a Constitutional Right, a US citizen exercising that right is not "hiding behind" a goddam thing.   


             Marc Ecko, in testimony, stated, "An 18-year-old can buy cigarettes, vote, and go into the army, but he can't buy a can of spray paint in Manhattan..."

             But New York City's legal representative in the Federal Court hearing, Gabriel Taussig, countered, saying the law "strikes a proper constitutional balance between the First Amendment rights (to free speech) and the need to control the long-standing plague of graffiti."    -Perhaps this is the appropriate time to remind the obviously Stalinist lawyer, Taussig, that in America, we don't draft laws which are 'balances' or compromises between Constitutionally guaranteed rights and crackdown policies which deny those rights.   That just doesn't make sense, does it, Mr Taussig?   For a lawyer to say anything that patently stupid, one has to wonder if he wasn't in fact acting for the plaintiff.

             A few days ago the case was resolved in favor of the seven artists, and against New York City.   The federal judge ordered New York City to stop enforcing its ban on the purchase and possession of spray paint and broad-tipped markers, saying the law unfairly singled out a narrow age group.   In other words, it was unconstitutional.



    Graffiti #064
    U.F.O.
    8 ft high x 25 ft (part of Back-To-Back mural)


    Graffiti #065
    Otto's Overspray
    About 6 ft high


    Graffiti #066
    Block On Block 1
    8 ft. high x 28 ft. (part of Back-To-Back mural)



    Graffiti #067
    Workman
    8 ft. high x 30 ft.


    Graffiti #068
    Dewdrop Up
    10 ft. high x 12 ft.


    Graffiti #069
    Block On Block 2
    8 ft. high x 30 ft. (Part of Back-To-Back mural)


    Graffiti #070
    Maiden Flight
    4 ft. high x 5 ft.


    GRAFFITI ARCHIVES :
    Graffiti, Graffiti, and more Graffiti - Bangkok's original and ONLY Graffiti Site !

    GRAFFITI - A THUMBNAIL HISTORY
    <link>

       The MIDNITE HOUR Graffiti Page is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman.

    (Boge's photo, above, is not a graffiti per-se, although there are those who have insinuated....)    


           
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