Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Original Sin City

Long before Las Vegas was even a glimmer in Bugsy Siegel's eye, NYC was the original "sin city." And considering that a lot more people live here than there, there's probably a lot more "sinning" going on in NYC than Vegas!

This week's New York Times Book Review has an article on two new books about the history of sex in New York City. One is called The Forbidden Apple: A Century of Sex and Sin in New York City by Kat Long and the other is called Licentious Gotham: Erotic Publishing and Persecution in Nineteenth Century New York by Donna Dennis. (I already cited The Forbidden Apple in a post back in February).

Our fair city has always had an active erotic life, from street prostitutes to burlesque clubs to Plato's Retreat to Sarah Jessica Parker. Erotica in New York is as diverse and weird and exciting as the city itself, and it always will be. Both of these books explore these various worlds of sin and naughtiness, and how the law and various self-serving moral arbiters would try to suppress and shut them down. Needless to say, for the most part, they failed although clearly not in the case of modern day Times Square. Still, its amazing if you think about it, how a 100 years ago there was a subterranean sex world in this otherwise prudish city but how, these days, it's now celebrated in movies and TV and the Internet!

The more things change ...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.