simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Fantasies
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Saturday, 28 April 2007


Sex shops, tattoo parlors, body piercing - these are not the things that first come to mind regarding NYC in 2007, when gentrification and reduced crime have become the hallmarks of the city. But in the Village there has been a proliferation of these types of shops in the last few years, making the strip along 6th Avenue in the Village (shown in the photo) feel more like the old Times Square, to the displeasure of many residents. Many feel that the extremely permissive, "anything goes" spirit of the neighborhood has largely been responsible, particularly with some tourists who see the Village as a place to party - e.g. weekends have seen motorcycle gangs from out of town descend on the neighborhood or gay youths at Christopher Street Pier. There have been many efforts to close these shops and reduce their numbers. In 1998, a "60/40 law" was passed during the Giuliani administration. The law required a minimum of 60 percent non-X-rated merchandise for a store to operate outside adult entertainment zones. Of course stores find loopholes, displaying racks of non-X-rated videos and other products along side their porn. Aggressive efforts are made by the city to find health code and fire violations, but store owners are resourceful and tenacious, always finding ways to comply and stay open. Neighborhood residents are tolerant - those that object to these shops due so not so much because of the content but more due to the number of them clustered together, their garish lights and explicit window displays. Older shops like the Pleasure Chest (with a much more discreet window) and even the Pink Pussycat Boutique have done well to coexist with residents ...


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