Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gem Spa: New York's Finest Egg Cream

The Gem Spa is an institution in New York City celebrated for its delicious egg cream. Allen Ginsberg wrote about it, as did Lou Reed...

Rain-wet asphalt heat, garbage curbed cans overflowing

By Allen Ginsberg

I hauled down lifeless mattresses to sidewalk refuse-piles,
old rugs stept on from Paterson to Lower East Side filled with bed-bugs,
grey pillows, couch seats treasured from the street laid back on the street
– out, to hear Murder-tale, 3rd Street cyclists attacked tonite–
Bopping along in rain, Chaos fallen over City roofs,
shrouds of chemical vapour drifting over building-tops –
Get the Times, Nixon says peace reflected from the Moon,
but I found no boy body to sleep with all night on pavements 3 A.M.
         home in sweating drizzle –
Those mattresses soggy lying in full five garbagepails –
Barbara, Maretta, Peter Steven Rosebud slept on these Pillows years ago,
forgotten names, also made love to me, I had these mattresses four years
        on my floor –
Gerard, Jimmy many months, even blond Gordon later,
Paul with the beautiful big cock, that teenage boy that lived in
forgotten numbers, young dream loves and lovers, earthly bellies –
many strong youths with eyes closed, come sighing and helping me
       come –
Desires already forgotten, tender persons used and kissed goodbye
and all the times I came to myself alone in the dark dreaming of Neal or
       Billy Budd
– nameless angels of half-life – heart beating & eyes weeping for lovely
       phantoms -
Back from the Gem Spa, into the hallway, a glance behind
and sudden farewell to the bedbug-ridden mattresses piled soggy in dark

Today I had my first - a frothy, vanilla egg cream on St. Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue in the East Village.

Here's Lou Reed on the wonders of this awesome refreshment...

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