The MIDNITE HOUR often receives and occasionally takes photos that are not readily classifiable in one or another of our categories. Worthy in their own right, we thought it best just to 'dump' a bunch of those photos - several of which have had reader queries in the recent past...
No Laughing Matter
...ITS A GAS, GAS, GAS
A popular open-fronted restaurant in Khao Sarn Road has nailed up some signage indicating they see nothing funny about inhaling laughing gas while on premises. If you are as mystified as we were, here's the lowdown. Every evening as the sun goes down, a little man appears with a cylinder of compressed gas and a big box of balloons - right smack-dab in the middle of Khao Sarn Road. For a nominal outlay of cash he will fill a balloon with gas, and you are on your way to a new way of walking. A one-balloon-hit will get you about 3 beers worth of 'high'. (We note this is not helium - you won't talk like Donald Duck.) The suspected culprit : Nitrous Oxide.
KHAO SARN ROAD
Stickman Returns NIGHTSCENE COMMENTATOR BACK AT THE HELM
Mid August, just a couple of weeks ago, Stickman returned, softly, to his familiar Internet column (he was never completely gone, occasionally submitting a column here and there.) By the time you read this, he will be back on his regular weekly beat. No need to change the bookmark settings on your computer - he's right back where he always was. Welcome back.
A reader remembers the 80's and 90's
Some of you will remember the La Cherie on Surawong Road.
The Atami Massage is long gone, but you can still find today's La Belle...
Some of you (and some of us) have been following the genealogy of the Club 99 through to its present incarnation, Check Inn 99 on Soi Dead Artists (Sukhumvit Soi 33). What had remained unclear was when the Club 99 on Silom Road closed. An old Nite Owl of Bernard Trink's to the rescue.
Rick Menard'sGrand Prix in its heyday. For a while Rick also had the next-door Pit Stop.
The now-closed upstairs bars "Pussy Twins" Pussy Galore and Pussy Alive - part of King's Group.
Daytime Patpong 1 in the 80's
The Pussy Alive, the Pussy Galore and (on the right) part of the King's Corner sign.
The Casanova Bar and Takara Barber upstairs over the Bottoms Up. The Grand Prix at the right.
The Cleopatra BarA Go-Go upstairs in the Bat Boat on Patpong 2.
The Fire Cat started it all - as far as the upstairs 80's wild show bars are concerned. Waaay back when "upstairs bars" didn't mean "rip-off"...
Downstairs at the Bat Boat, after the restaurant closed, that venue went through several changes; several attempts to find a successful format - the Love Boat being one of them.
The above copyrighted photos were sent to us by Brian of Fulham from his personal collection. Used with permission - and thanks...!
Some other pics we forgot we had...
The Baby A Go Go was an upstairs bar near Mizu's. Very popular, it was about 10 years too late (1989) on the Patpong Scene - soon after, the 'tent city' counterfeit-products street market' opened - heralding the turning point and slow downward spiral of Patpong - no longer the premier Night Entertainment Area in Bangkok.
Two of the popular bars that made Patpong 2 equal in every way to Patpong 1 in the 80's. Top is, of course, the notorious Roxy Bar, and lower is an interior shot of the Sugar Shack. These, by the way, are the originalBangkok bars of those names....
In the 80's & 90's there was... Empower. Remember them? They were going to empower bargirls, give them sewing machines and condoms... or something... Oh, well...
Bangkok Eyes is an historically based news outlet, and as such, all graphic excerpts herein are considered, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations, 'Fair Use' under US and International Copyright Law. Bangkokeyes.com is not the owner of several of the photographs in the above article (as stated). Copyright of original photographs and excerpts in the above article reside exclusively with the photographer(s) / legal owner(s).
Reader : Appreciate for your time. Thanks. Brilliant. I have some piccys from the early days which i need to scan and send. Keep up the good work.
Reader : Fascinating to see this, Will. Were you in Udon at this time?
Midnite Hour:Was in Udorn in 67 - 68 but scant hours (not posted there). Was on my way to/ from Laos. Later ended up in Viet Nam 68 - 75 then back to Thailand. Now resident of BKK.
Reader : I find the old map fascinating even if it is a bit hard to make out. Seems the area around the Udon Hotel and the Tonkoon Hotel was a happening area. Must have been one hell of a time and place.
Reader : I wonder what the prices were - beer I mean.,
Midnite Hour:We have had numerous responses to the Udorn Bar article, and will be publishing more in the near future. We note we are receiving additional info as we go, and are tentatively planning to do a follow-up piece on this. Please send any photos, maps and / or anecdotal accounts you feel are relative to this interesting piece of 'history'. We note we did not include two major categories of entertainment in our original article - first, we neglected to discuss the Air America participation, and secondly, we did not include on-base entertainment (which was the only Nightlife some military types saw while in Udorn). We would appreciate any input you may have.
Once again, Black Pagoda leads the way with attractive graphic promotions.
The Tokyo Boy lasted almost 2 months before they took the harakiri option - sayonora boys...
The Top Light Bar may, or may not be at the end of their musical chairs. Back in June, they moved out of their original digs to make room for the now-defunct Tokyo Boy, and began cohabitating with Tavern Two (dual signage). This month they moved again, this time into half of the renovating Tavern Three (...the other half of Tavern Three still under construction). May they ride the vicissitudes...
Penny Black, Pub, Disco (when they were open), pool, karaoke (when they were open), and rooms for rent - are undergoing big-time renovations. A small blackboard out front in the Soi says they still rent rooms, and they have a DJ (what is he doing?)... but everything else is closed. All neon and other signage has been removed, so lets keep an ear to the ground and see how things pan out in October...
A 'For-The-Archives' photo of the front of Nana Plaza. Up until very recently, these Nitespots facing Soi Nana allowed access through their rear doors into the Nana Plaza court area, however, due to heightened security concerns, this is no longer allowed - one must pass through the cattle-chute at the main entrance and be scrutinized by a phalanx of guards.
Hillary 1 has successfully transitioned (standing the test of time) - to its new location within the Rajah Hotel grounds. Live entertainment, good food, amicable waitresses. May they continue to abide.
A couple months back, they were the Welcome Bar, or so said an almost invisible sign... Last month, their signage had wasted away to just big neon tubes spelling out "W". This month, to everyone's surprise, they finished off their exterior decorations and opened up indoors as well as outdoors. This time 'round, they are back at 'Welcome Bar' - with the ever present 'W' accompanying... A 100% improvement - Door Art Of The Month this month...
Yet another Massage Parlor has opened up in Subsoi Hana (so named because the Hana Massage had been its lone occupant for years.) The new Venue is the Chitar Nuru Massage - all the way down at the end of the lane. "Nuru massage" by the way, is a gel massage - similar to an oil massage. Welcome them to the slippery slope.
Kaede was darker than a poisoned well when we passed by the other night. Undergoing top-to-bottom renovations in preparation for reopening as yet another Massage Parlor. We'll keep our eyeballs peeled and let you know on its reopening - which should be sometime this September...
The other evening, Simple Bar 1 was roller-shuttered down - entirely hidden from the public eye. They did have a sign posted saying they would reopen first of the month... which would be right about now... We'll go back, and get back atcha if there is any news...
A pic of the long-running Hot Male - catching an unusual reflection off the rain roof. BTW, we note three venues under renovation on the Soi... currently no indication as to which, if any, will be Night Entertainment Venues...
Bangkok Eyes goes back in time to
Who was new - And who was through
in the Expat Night Entertainment world.
How many of these old 'oases'
do you remember ?
The second level Girlfriend Bar took over the reins from the then-recently expired Funny Girls Bar. It was located above the still-extant Safari; there is currently no Nitespot at that upstairs location.
*The upstairs Lucky Bar took over from Sky - which had closed a month previous. Located above today's King's Castle 2. That upstairs location is currently home to Happy Bar.
*Pinocchio's Club added "& Xanadu" to their name. The Xanadu was the predecessor bar, so there may have been a legal-name issue.... Pinocchio's is still there today - without the "& Xanadu"..
*The upstairs Casanova opened in the then-recently closed Family digs - located on Soi Bookstore. There is currently no bar at that location. This Casanova was no relation to the Nana PlazaCasanova.
*New Popeye's, located between Cowboy 1 and Cowboy 2, closed and commenced renovations. They would eventually become today's Spice Girls.
* The ground-level Hollywood No. 1 became the Hollywood Rock. This real estate currently home to London Calling.
*The ground level Sugar Beatbar beer outside Hollywood No. 1 closed down. That area is currently the 'outdoor' bar area for London Calling.
Soi Katoey ( Silom Soi 4 )
* The Hyper reincorporated the previously deleted "Air Bus" into its signage.
* The Rome Club (part 1 & 2 - on both sides of the Soi) dropped "Boogienight" from its signage.
Buckskin Joe Village (~ November 1988 to November 2006)
(Also known -originally- as Tobacco Road or Soi Rot Fai or, 'The Tracks', and later as Machim [Thai] and Soi Zero)
*The Vanilla Bar opened in the just-closed Australia Barbeer bar.
CBS News recently plunged head-first into Graff's "Never-Ending-Story" - Is graffiti art, or is it vandalism? Their quite watchable YouTube clip can be found at - "Graffiti: Art or vandalism?"<link>. While CBS gave the controversy the old-college-try at being 'fair and balanced', they didn't produce much in the way of original 'storyline'.
They interviewed three now-middle-aged ex-graff artists who were prolific in the days of inundating New York's trains and subways with spray paint. They interviewed zealous Municipal officials. They interviewed an art gallery entrepreneur. In each instance, getting the predictable 'pro' or 'con' position on graffiti - while never quite getting down to any sort of a determination as to whether it was art or whether it was vandalism.
The CBS video clip did find one sliver of 'meat' - a comprehensive definition of 'Graffiti', "Graffiti is an appropriation of the public's space or someone's private property without permission...." Of course, the elephant in the room - which remains entirely unnoticed - is that 'art' and 'vandalism' are two unrelated subjects. To say the same thing another way, the two considerations are mutually exclusive. We recall a remark made some years ago by a Phoenix police officer, when questioned by reporters at a then-recently 'bombed' (spray painted) schoolyard, "I don't know if graffiti is art, but I do know it is illegal."
Graphic excerpts above are from Internet sources, and are, under current legal precedents and prevailing interpretations considered 'Fair Use' under Copyright Law. Copyright of all original artwork resides exclusively with the artists.
7 ft high x 14 ft
Lone Tree Evening
6 ft high x 2.5 ft
8 ft high x 14 ft
8ft high x 15 ft
Stencil - The Man
2 ft high x 2 ft
8 ft high x 27 ft
Bangkok Eyes is an historically based news outlet, and as such, all graphic excerpts herein are considered, under current legal precedents and
prevailing interpretations, 'Fair Use' under Copyright Law. Copyright of any original artwork resides exclusively with the artists.
Bangkok's original site !
The MIDNITE HOUR Graffiti Page is prepared by Staff Contributor "Boge" Hartman .
(Boge's photo, above, is not a graffitiper-se, although there are those who have insinuated....