Peeps, Police, and Marquees (Times Square Episode 2)

On this episode, Melissa and Cheyenne take us from the illicit porn sets of the Bronx to the cascade of billboards of Times Square in the 70s. Our special guest is former Manhattan borough president Ruth Messinger. 

Times Square, 1975 / Getty

On this episode

Does David Simon not fully understand his own show / Communism? / we called the shag / Edison and one-man peep shows / porn with a soup can of art / pandering feminist catchphrases / goodbye Village Voice / Siberia / the Times Square Redevelopment Corporation / "the crossroads of nowhere" / "loitering with intent to Elmo" / lost little rich girls / unpaid police companionship / watch Fort Apache, The Bronx / call us! / so long

Cine 42, 1993 / Gregoire Alessandrini

Cine 42, 1993 / Gregoire Alessandrini

Times Square, 1978 / Fernando Natalici

Times Square, 1978 / Fernando Natalici

Times Square, 1978 / Fernando Natalici

Times Square, 1978 / Fernando Natalici

Further reading and viewing

Klute, 1971

Klute, 1971

San Francisco Kinetoscope Parlor, 1895

San Francisco Kinetoscope Parlor, 1895

The machines show two minutes of a film for a quarter. Some of the films are in 10 parts, some in 12. Nearly all the films are in color. Some films deal with male or female homosexual acts, but most are heterosexual.
— 9 Peep Shows Are Raided in Times Square Area, New York Times
  • Gail Sheehy and New Journalism
    • "Wide Open City/Part I: The New Breed," Gail Sheehy, New York magazine July 26, 1971, A1 (archive)
    • "The original ‘Deuce’ was a 1975 TV movie called ‘Hustling’," New York Post; September 11, 2017 (online)
       
  • Communism...?
    • "David Simon: HBO's new show 'The Deuce' is really about ... business," Yahoo; September 11, 2017 (online)
       
  • Siberia
    • "Siberia Bar: Exiled in Times Square," Brooklyn Rail; July-August 2001 (online)
Camel billboard, Times Square, 1943

Camel billboard, Times Square, 1943

Camel Signs in Times Square, NYC from the 1940s to 1960s (17).jpg
  • Ruth Messinger and the Times Square Redevelopment Corporation
    • "DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR TIMES SQ. WINS UNANIMOUS BACKING OF ESTIMATE BOARD," New York Times; November 9, 1984 (archive)
    • "5 LAWMAKERS URGE EXTENDED HEARINGS ON TIMES SQ. PLAN," New York Times; May 3, 1984 (archive)
"The Mod Squad" promotional still

"The Mod Squad" promotional still

  • "The Mod Squad"
    • “The Teeth of the Barracuda” (pilot); 1968
       
  • "Barney Miller"
    • "Christmas Story” (season 3, episode 10); 1976
    • "Barney Miller: 40 Years Later, The Most Intelligent, Literate US Sitcom Ever," ibt.com; 2014 (online)
       
  • Fort Apache, The Bronx, d. Daniel Petrie;1981
Proto-peep

Proto-peep

Times Square, 1983 / Andreas Feininger

Times Square, 1983 / Andreas Feininger


Featured Music

  • "Shannon," Henry Gross; 1976
     
  • "Happening In The Streets," The Voltage Brothers (1978)


Credits

TERRIFIC CITY is hosted by Melissa Gira Grant and Cheyenne Picardo. The show was recorded and edited by Cheyenne Picardo, and it was produced by Melissa Gira Grant. (Thanks to Bradley Robinson for helping with music supervision.)