No Context: John Varvatos Store Opens to Protesters at 315 Bowery


John Varvatos Store
315 Bowery
April 8

“It means much more to me than the ringing of the registers that we did the right thing in here.”—John Varvatos,

“NYC should not be a town just for the wealthy – but who can afford these clothes? Mr. Varvatos caters to a wealthy, male-dominated major-label mainstream rock world that has no claim on the CB’s legacy whatsoever.”—Rebecca Moore, “Varvatos Protest – my comments” (photocopy/

Varvatos Protest, my comments:

As a rule, I suspect stores that try to fend off protestors by entreating them to “come see our employees”—the one rocker guy with golden headband, the other guy with the snakeskin NYHC Converse, the not-Kim Gordon-looking woman who told me to stop taking pictures because “we have all these crazy rules”—i.e., there’s still a band playing every night at CB’s, except they’re actually retail clerks, and they “play” by selling clothes. I thought about playing a leather jacket but then I realized spring is almost here.

That said, I noticed some items that I imagined would be there were missing:

  • One cape made out of the voluminous skin of Joey Ramone.
  • Hand-crafted thongs lovingly constructed out of tiles from the old CBGB bathroom floor.
  • An animatronic Robert Christgau punching an animatronic James Chance in the face.
  • A t-shirt silkscreened with a picture of John Varvatos’s face, except instead of ink the face is made out of Hilly Kristal’s ashes. 
  • A big statue of the Statue of Liberty, but wearing eyeliner.