Music

Fuck you Regal!!!

When you’re raised in Queens, NY you don’t aspire to move to another city, state, or country, but another neighborhood.

Story and Photos by Lance Cain - Lance@cainfilms.com

Knitting Factory photo ©Lance Cain

It was coming to an end in so many ways. Neighbors were changing, owners of buildings were changing, and TriBeca was becoming no longer TriBeCa. Not that I was one of the forefathers of this place. I moved to TriBeCa in the mid nineties, a life long dream of mine. When you’re raised in Queens, NY you don’t aspire to move to another city, state, or country, but another neighborhood. Throughout my art school years I went to dozens of parties in the dark gloomy rat invested love of mine. And damn if I couldn’t wait to one day live there. But I was lucky to find a loft on Leonard street above the recently re-located Knitting Factory. For over ten years I lived the iconic quintessential New York City life; above a club that let us tenets see all shows for free and all drinks for a dollar. Oh these were the salad days. The last days of the isolated pocket areas of your own personal NYC late night, early morning fun. But then Regal Real Estate purchased the building and the party was over.

Hip-Hop Night photo ©Lance Cain

The thirty story high rise down the block was finally completed. All the Robert Chambers and their Upper Eastside peers moved in, and suddenly a block of around fifty residents turns to a block of three hundred residents. All of them obnoxiously wanting the Knitting Factory to close down and move from the block the club’s been on for over a decade. My rent increased overnight by a third. Even one of the oldest bars in TriBeCa, The Liquor Store, where the artists of the neighborhood have been going to for years, where I met at three am a seventy-eight year old photographer who started his career being Andy Warhol’s cameraman, is now a J Crew store. The knitting Factory in now off to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the perfect place to stay alive and strong, but my last days were a slow death for us all. I was lucky to capture one of the last hip hop nights at the Knitting factory.

Rumors spread throughout the night that a Dean and Deluca store was to take over the three level space. It’s been over five years now since the Knitting Factory left and the space is still vacant. Karma can be so sweet, so savory, so luscious.

So on behalf of my family, my TriBeCa friends, the staff of the Knitting Factory, and the old tenets of 74 Leonard Street; Fuck You Regal!!! May you continue your financial success!

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