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Old 11-15-2009, 06:13 PM
12,120 posts, read 27,679,442 times
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Friday evening I was sitting in a Starbucks on 770 8th Avenue at the corner of 47th street, thinking of how 30 years ago when i was a teen and with a friend of mine I was walking very fast thru that exact intersection because of an "undesirable and frightening element" hanging around the corner. I remember we turned east toward Broadway past the old Biltmore theater where a police car was parked with 2 officers sitting inside. I always wondered if anything went down there after we left. It was also the scariest moment I had in NY.

A few months later my first boss from my first job for my last day took me to an Italian Restaurant on West 47th right across from the Biltmore near the corner of 8th where we were a few months ago. The restaurant was empty and the owner sat with us, telling us that business was so bad because no one wanted to come to the restaurant because of the location, and he himself was accosted and robbed

years later i read about the fire at the Biltmore theater which was set by vandals and drug addicts used it as a "shooting gallery"

I noticed that whole block between 770 and 782 (9/11 firehouse) Eighth Avenue before it was torn down was very run down and there were numerous boarded up windows on the property. Although the atmosphere in the 90's when i would pass there was not as menacing as it was back in 79, I always seemed to notice a lot of seedy type characters hanging around there

So what I wanted to know was, was the corner of 47th and 8th always a bad corner in particular, or was the general strip of 8th pretty much the same way? Was there something about that Biltmore property that attracted these types? Or just another block in Times Square?
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