At the site of beloved discotheque Pyramid Club, Baker Falls promises a reincarnation of the city's transgressive roots—but its new neighbors suggest otherwise
“Keep this quiet, Paul, but we’re bringing East Village rock back to Manhattan,” Nick Bodor told Curbed, as he offered a tour of what was formerly the preeminent Pyramid Club on Avenue A. Now, with Bodor as co-owner, the club will be renamed Baker Falls (which sounds more like an early aughts teen drama than a reincarnation of a New York’s transgressive rock history).
Once home to the counterculture that bolstered the city’s appeal, the East Village today hasn’t exactly maintained its reputation; its gentrification that began at the turn of the century has seen the neighborhood at least partially succumb to wealthy transplants, NYU students without incomes of their own, and Anna Delvey—all eager to pay upwards of $2,000 for shitty studio apartments so that they can write lifeless poetry for their Substacks on the same stoops Allen Ginsberg and Patti Smith once sat on, and to buy coke at the same park Dee Dee Ramone used to—only at higher prices and lower quality.
Nowadays, it’s near impossible to be a musician who can afford to actually live in the city, save for the nepotism babies and art-major elites. The music culture in New York has largely moved across the river, pushing further and further east each year as Brooklyn becomes increasingly gentrified. I was unable to track down the monthly costs that the club will be taking on, and the average cover charge is a matter of future speculation (as it won’t officially launch until March), but if they match the exponential increase on the cost of a coffee from its surrounding cafes, I imagine both will be steep. Perhaps, the club will manage to uphold the spirit of the music that put its street on the map. More likely though, I expect to see lineups of predominantly privileged musicians who favor matching the aesthetic ‘vibe’ of their predecessors over the ethos they actually championed, with the occasional drop-in from a has-been reliving the days when they were once cool and bucking against the establishment, droning in monotone as they strum vintage guitars to an audience too preoccupied with the name on the marquee to pass proper judgment on the pastiche they paid to see.