Hi! And happy wet March day! I am extra excited for the March party because not only will I be wearing suede duds from the $5 bin outside Alice Underground (R.I.P.) but we will be screening one of my all time favorite NYC movies - Martin Scorsese's 1985 flick, "After Hours." Remember when NYC, and in particular SoHo, was a mecca of cheap used clothing - gigantic tubs of leather and suede, sitting outside through rain and sleet, waiting for takers? And good old Canal Jeans, with its mystery items outside for $1, that if you had the energy for, you'd sort through and score something incredible? The same merchandise is now in stores for triple digits, and selling like hot cakes. And a "Ghostbusters" shirt is now considered vintage. For those of you not in the know, Alice Underground was one of many stores that sold great coats, sweaters, bowling shirts, linens, etc., from the 50s, 60s and 70s. It was an emporium of great finds on Broadway between Spring and Broome. That location is now home to the new Pearl River Mart, at least a NYC store and not a hellish chain like Bloomingdale’s, Banana Republic, or Crate and Barrel. Pearl River moved from Canal Street to this spot and has a wonderful selection of teas, spices, funky dish ware, all necessary oils and sauces for perfect Asian cookery, and lovely gift items for you and yours. The uptown Alice Underground was on 78th and Columbus and is now home to yet another lounge.

"After Hours" was an excellent depiction of pre-mall-ified SoHo, and is truly a must see for anyone wanting to get a glimpse into yet another bygone era of NYC. With Griffin Dunne (born in NYC), Rosanna Arquette (born in NYC), Cheech and Chong, and a few other dandy souls, it inspired me to spend an entire night out in SoHo in 1985 (with great buddy Allison), roaming the streets in search of nothing. Now it's your turn to search for answers to this month's little tangential trivia quiz (answers are posted at: - at the bottom of the page - but try not to cheat):

  1. North of Houston, West Broadway becomes what street?
  2. In "Desperately Seeking Susan," Rosanna Arquette's character Roberta buys Madonna's leather jacket from what East Village shop?
  3. Rosanna Arquette's transsexual brother Alexis (soon to be on the "Surreal Life") sings Boy George's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" in what 1998 comedy? (Hint: Steve Buscemi is also in this movie. Bigger hint: Adam Sandler is in it too.)
  4. In the 1850s, SoHo was most know for: a) German breweries b) prostitution c) perfumeries d) button manufacturing
  5. Anthony Dapolito, who died in 2003, was the owner of what bakery on Prince Street?
  6. SoHo and much of Lower Manhttan were slated for demolition to pave the way for the Lower Manhattan Expressway (that never happened, phew!) by what urban planner?
  7. Other than London, what international city has a Soho district? a) Hong Kong b) Johannesburg c) Rio Di Janeiro d) Sydney
  8. In what year did the name SoHo (for "South of Houston") come about? a) 1937 b) 1951 c) 1968 d) 1972
  9. Which artist did not have studio in SoHo? a) Christo b) Andy Warhol c) Frank Stella d) Claes Oldenberg
  10. SoHo was known by all of the following names except: a) The Valley b) Little Africa c) Hell's Hundred Acres d) Corlear's Hook
  11. In which SoHo diner did Monica on "Friends" don rollerskates and huge fake boobs to work as a waitress?
  12. Which SoHo restaurant has an excellent and unadvertised oyster happy hour Tuesday-Friday? Freebie - Aqua Grill on Spring and 6th.

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