Listen, you wanted the old East Village back, with its grit and character and rough edges and trash can fires in place of those new, sleek buildings. Yet over the weekend, when a new CBGB awning went up in the neighborhood, everyone got so mad! What's wrong? Isn't this what you asked for? It's just like the old time... oh, that says TRGT.
Okay yeah, that's not cool.
The awning was put up by mega-chain Target to promote their new East Village store over the weekend, located at 14th Street and Ave A. As part of their opening weekend hoopla, they aimed to recreate an East Village that is now gone... in part because of companies like Target. Nothing says you're in touch with locals more than co-opting a beloved venue that was brought down, in part, by the very commercialization of the neighborhood that your company is exploiting.
Tim Hayes, who previously owned the CBGB name (after the Kristal family, and before this mess), told Gothamist this morning, "Everyone and anyone involved in this is wildly out of touch with the people of the neighborhood and their cultural values."
Upon seeing the TRGT awning over the weekend, Jeremiah Moss of Vanishing NY declared, "[this] might be the most deplorable commodification of local neighborhood culture I’ve ever witnessed."
We've reached out to Target for a comment and will update if we hear back.
This isn't the first time the CBGB legacy has been dragged into a sanitized, corporate arena—in 2015, a CBGB restaurant opened in Newark Airport (and it's somehow still open!).
If you're curious where the real CBGB awnings may be, check out our very serious, four-part investigation — this led to the discovery of one of the original awnings, which we then got back to 315 Bowery, albeit briefly:
(Photo by Rainer Turim)