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Target’s CBGB Recreation Is Another Slap in the Face for Punk Fans

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30: CBGB's bar the Ramones played and near the corner with the street sign dedicated to Joey Ramone at the corner of second street and the bowery November 30, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Teresa Lee/Getty Images)

Target’s been working on a new location in New York’s East Village and yesterday, the store held an official grand opening ceremony. As Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan both point out, the extended storefront is made to look like a stretch of East Village shops and housing tenements in the 1970s and ’80s.

No throwback to the neighborhood’s heyday could be complete without mention of its infamous punk club CBGB, and Target has thankfully memorialized the venue with its own mock storefront dedicated to the space. Beneath an awning spelling out “TRGT” in the venue’s classic font, Target employees handed out free “bands” in the form of Target-branded Band-Aids and exercise bands.

It’s hard to be too upset about the commercialization of the CBGB name, which is currently being used to pound $9 “Disco Fries” (?) into the gaping, masochistic esophagi of duty-free slobs via iPads, but for anyone with memories of the area before the last few decades of commercial takeover, the move, of course, still has some sting. Jeremiah Moss, pseudonymous author of the excellent blog-turned-book Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul, called it a “Potemkin Village from Hell” with “relentlessly sunny” workers, “like actors at Disneyland.”

“To see the artifacts of my own life, my cultural and spiritual awakening, my home, displayed above the cash registers in a Target store is to be cast into a state of confusion and dysphoria. What am I seeing? Who are these people? What happened to the world?”

Touché, my friend. Touché.

Um, no. #gentrification #corporate #appropriation #eastvillage #nyc #cbgb #cbgbomfug

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