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Tag Archives: girlie magazines

Silk stocking magazines set me off on the quest…

Silk stocking magazines…just the name is so evocative!

I’ve written here before how I’m always fascinated walking around Manhattan and remembering what occupied a particular space long ago. For example, this decrepit building at the northwest corner of 46th Street and Eighth Avenue housed a fantastic video store, DVD BLOWOUT, that sold obscure cult movies like stuff from Something Weird Video in addition to its hardcore porn; and next to it was the Full Moon Saloon, a place where I did a good amount of drinking back in the day…

This is what has replaced it: shiny, tall, and a hub for tourists.

I also remember, when I pass by an Asian noodle shop near the southwest corner of 49th St. and Eighth Avenue, that long ago in the 70s its space was occupied by a used magazine store, where I first came upon these magazines (scans taken from my own copies, some of which I’ve sold at memorabilia shows):

I recall asking the slender gray-haired middle-aged guy behind the counter near the door what these magazines were. I had never seen these publications before, packed with the nylon-sheathed ladies of the late 40s and 50s. “They’re called ‘silk stocking magazines,’ ” he said. Amazingly, they were only $2.50 or $3.00 a piece, so I bought three or four. Now they go for about $25 a piece, even in just good, not necessarily, great condition. They’re hard to find. BEAUTY PARADE, TITTER, FLIRT…these are the titles of the mags in which Bettie Page and other popular models frequently appeared. They were published by Robert Harrison, who later in the 50s went on to great notoriety with the scandal-mongering CONFIDENTIAL magazine.

Little did I know that my lifelong quest to collect vintage girlie mags and endless pinups had begun! I still have the copy of FLIRT, which I bought in 1977 from the late Art Amsie, the dealer and collector who was a cornerstone of the pinup revival, and who even photographed Bettie Page himself. It’s a mint copy which I’ve only looked at a few times, wanting to keep it in as perfect condition as possible—not because it’s worth so much, I probably couldn’t get more than $100 for it; it’s just nice to have an issue so well-preserved from so long ago, when most of them are so fragile they fall apart as you turn the pages. You can read my profile of Art Amsie here.

You can see how un-seriously these mags were treated by some folks before the interest in pinups was renewed in the early 80s. The price $3.00 was casually scrawled on the gorgeous Peter Driben-painted cover of TITTER, along with the date!

If you’re interested in seeing more of these covers and the insides of the mags, look on Amazon here for a Taschen book called 1000 PIN-UP GIRLS, and your orbs will get their fill of the fillies! Note their variant spelling of “pin-up.” Me, I always spell it “pinup.” 😉

 

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Blonde giantess flashes her gat in Times Square…

I wish I could love Times Square the way I used to love it, when it was awash in sleazy gritty appeal. Long gone. Sigh…

It looks glitzy here (50th Street and Broadway this summer of 2017) but it’s oh so “family-friendly.”

What about us solitary souls, us dreamers and wanderers? It’s not so much for us anymore…

One afternoon I had a coffee in an Eighth Avenue food court as I read a lovely crumbling paperback by Jerome Weidman about a young writer getting started in the 1930s…full of colorful dialogue as Weidman depicted the striving of Jewish-American immigrants in the challenging fabric of the big town…

Last weekend I saw how construction had revealed, at 47th and Seventh Avenue, in the heart of Times Square, this old brick front between all the signs and I wondered, what went on in behind those windows back in the day?

I know that in the early 80s, a girlie magazine photographer used to have his studio right around here. I wondered if those perhaps were his windows? Even if they weren’t, it’s a nice thought…

I went to Penn Station earlier this month, eight blocks below Times Square, to catch a train. I had a book with me. As I sat in the waiting room, I saw how some girls had placed their doll companions on their suitcases…

Then I went back to reading a story by John O’Hara about a guy who’s looking for a big card game…he never finds it.

I love John O’Hara’s stories.

In the old days the giant signs in Times Square were called “spectaculars.” I don’t know if they still are, but I think this billboard of Charlize Theron, in her recent movie Atomic Blonde, would qualify for the moniker. Lookit the giantess flash that roscoe! A dangerous doll with a gat.

So I guess there still are things for me to love in Times Square! 😉

 

 


Note: you can click on any pic to enlarge it.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2017 in New York City, Times Square

 

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