Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

InterGloss of 1971-72, page 3: McBurney Y to Pink Champale

Third page of the Nickel Fare Interactive Glossary of 1971-72. The McBurney Y is the definite beginning of this journey, but does it end with Pink
Champale or sheathed in Polyester?


NOTE: the glossary had to be broken up into separate pages, otherwise, the search engines would banish it for having far too many links.

The McBurney Y : In 1971, it was the YMCA on West 23rd Street in Chelsea. It can be assumed that this is the Y that the Village People are singing about. In 2002 the McBurney relocated to new facilities on Fourteenth Street and this Nineteenth Century structure has now been converted into special needs housing.

Marsha P. Johnson : The “P” stands for “Pay it no mind,” she once famously told a judge. Click the link for a wonderful page dedicated to this unique street queen. Marsha says, “You gotta have soul!”

Mar y Sol festival : A rock music festival that took place at Los Tubos, (see above)in Manatí, Puerto Rico in 1972. In the story, the stranded hippies wait hopelessly for the ever delayed festival to arrive. As it turns marysolout, the Festival did eventually arrive (though not during the story) and was a great success in hindsight. (In real time, however, there were countless ugly incidents, tormentful mismanagement and torrential rain). The festival has become an annual event, now called Festival Playero.

May 1971 demonstrations : A series of demonstrations protesting the continued war in Vietnam. During the final years of the Johnson presidency and Nixon’s first term in office, there were constant anti-war demonstrations throughout the country, in the large cities and on most college campuses. The period Summer, 1968 – Summer , 1971 was probably the time of the most enormous marches, with hundreds of thousands of people turning out regularly for marches in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and especially, Washington, D.C. The first week of May, 1971 saw a series of such mass protests in the capital.

Bernard Montorgueil : a French erotic illustrator from the 1930s. He specialized in BDSM, i.e.montorguiel003, sado-masochistic, dominatrix imagery, suitable for a book like Sadopaedia. His collection, Dressage (training) is highly appreciated in certain circles.

MPI : Movimiento Pro-Independencia. Puerto Rican Independence Party. At about the time of this story, the party renamed itself The Puerto Rican Socialist Party, to reflect its Cuban leanings.

Murray Hill : A neighborhood on Manhattan’s East Side. Traditionally, it is the area below Forty-Second Street and north of Gramercy Park. It includes a great variety of housing and businesses.

Nassau Street : A busy commercial street just north of the Financial District in Manhattan’s crowded Lower end. It runs from Wall Street to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was once the home to many New York newspapers. It is intensely commercial, and was closed to vehicular traffic to accommodate the pedestrian shoppers.

The National Enquirer : a weekly tabloid. In the early 1970s, when other tabloids were still comparatively conservative, and the New York Post was considered to be on the left, the National Enquirer was very conspicuous for its sensationalism and rather low level of professionalism. Pictures of Space Aliens and babies with four arms regularly graced its cover.

The New Amsterdam Theater : which opened in 1902, is one of the city’s oldest theaters. It was home to the Ziegfield Follies before being turned into a cinema during the Depression. It was totally renovated to itstheatre_newAmsterdam former beauty during the 1990s, and was the venue for the long running musical, The Lion King and is now staging Mary Poppins. It’s livelihood during the 1970s, is better left undiscussed. The climactic scene of the story, Nickel Fare takes place in the first balcony of the New Amsterdam Theater.

Nickel Fare : The Staten Island Ferry probably has the most unusual fare history of any form of public transportation in the world. The fare remained a nickel (five cents) throughout all inflationary periods until 1975. Even then, it only rose to 25 cents, and that included a round trip ride. Then, in 1990 it was doubled, to fifty cents, still a bargain. However, in 1997, the fare was changed again – to zero. The Staten Island Ferry is now absolutely free to ride. As can be imagined, the fare for this ride, the only connection between Staten Island and the city center, has always been political. The five cent fare was written into the ferry charter in the 1890s, and the pressure to keep the fare low finally resulted in the fare’s total elimination one hundred years later.

The Ninth Circle : A bar in the West Village. During the early 1970s, when gay disco culture was still in its infancy, this bar was very popular with a young crowd for its music mix and casual atmosphere.

Pintchik’s : A large, garishly painted hardware store on Bergen Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

the Pintchik Oracle

the Pintchik Oracle

At this location since 1940, and has changed little, except maybe for the recent addition of an electronic oracle. The Pintchiks are not only retailers, but the family owns much of the real estate along this stretch of Flatbush Avenue, and have active plans for redevelopment – but don’t worry, Brooklyn style.

Pink Champale : A sticky sweet alcoholic drink. Pink beer, it was pitched pinkcanas a “poor man’s champagne.” Like other ingestible oddities, such as White Castle hamburgers, it has a certain cult allure. Double click the can of Pink Champale for a cool TV ad for the stuff featuring some over the top dancing. Do the hustle!

Polyester : Perhaps you know it as polyethylene terephthalate. No? Then try Dacron, Mylar, PET soda bottles, floppy disks. All polyester. Click the link for way more than you’ll ever need to know about Polyester.


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