LAST DANCE AT ROSELAND
Forget the effect of Daylight Savings Time and the circadian rhythm business, what really threw me off this week was having the New York Tattoo Convention in March. For the past 16 years, it was a Spring event . I was at the very first one, and even have a bumper sticker on my camera case to prove it.
Hey, for many folks, it might well have been THE Spring event: rebirth, new ink, the promise of whatever… and what better way to kick it off than right here. This year, the gathering date was moved up because the venerable venue of Roseland has a date with the wrecking ball. Yeah, for years we’ve been hearing rumors about the place being knocked so as to make room for yet another condo tower. This time it looks like it’s gonna happen after all. Lady GaGa is booked for an April gig, and then looks like that it’s all she wrote for the hall. And for those of us who have been regulars all these years, as well as New Yorkers who fondly remember the place, losing Roseland is seriously losing a piece of our history. A while back I wrote an article on the NYC show and did a bit of research on the locale. It turns out Roseland has had a dozen incarnations ranging from being a dime-a-dance hall, to a bustling social spot, to the venue for performances ranging from the best of the Big Band era to The Stones. During its “respectable” days, Roseland was a social mecca. For years there was a gallery of hundreds of photos of couples who met (and married) there. Even if you had connection to the place, just walk in and you knew you were someplace special.
Calendar and politics aside, when doors opened on Friday, the 17 Annual was all that might be expected. Lots of familiar faces: I spent a few hours wandering around and schmoozing with lots of old friends, many of whom I only get to see at this show. By early Saturday, the place was crowded with both lookers and customers. Most of the artists there seeming to be working pretty much non-stop. Lotsa lovely folks to photograph. More schmoozing, more hugs, e-mails exchanged… and so it went. And in a short few hours I was on the subway heading back home.
I ponder that no doubt there will be an 18th Annual New York Tattoo Convention. It will be someplace else and it will probably be just as cool. But it sure as hell won’t be the same.
—Maury Englander (mauryenglander.com)
Note: Click images to enlarge.