Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Last Call

"ooo ooo ooo, ooo ooo ooo
Well, they closed down the auto plant in Mahwah late last month..."

-- Johnny 99, Bruce Springsteen

I grew up and went to high school with guys like Johnny 99. In large part because the Ford plant in Mahwah, New Jersey, the one spoken of by The Boss, was 5 minutes down the road from my house in Suffern, New York.

That factory is not the only place in Northern NJ to be immortalized in pop culture. Many might remember the Bada Bing Strip Joint...I'm sorry, Gentleman's Club...made famous by Tony Soprano and his "business associates."

Unlike other Hollywood fabrications, there really is a gentleman's club on Rt. 17 just north of the cutoff to Rt. 4 and the gateway to the George Washington bridge. And from what I can tell they filmed many scenes from the HBO hit show right there on the premises. But the name Bada Bing belongs to David Chase and his writers. The club's actual name is Satin Dolls.

I know because I've been there.

I'll go out on limb and suggest that a huge portion of men, from Sloatsburg, NY to Hackensack, NJ, have graced the rails of this Garden State institution and forked over fistful's of single dollar bills in the process. 

When I was growing up there, a trip to Satin Dolls was nothing less than a geographic-specific rite of passage. Like getting stoned in the parking lot of the Paramus Mall. Or ordering the Huevos Rancheros at the Stateline Diner in Ramsey.

For many of us, sneaking in with fake ID, Satin Dolls was where we felt the first pangs of love.

"Did you see the way she looked at me? Did you see how she winked? I think she likes me."

Perhaps that's why it hurt so much when I came across the news that the Bada Bing (see also Satin Dolls, see also Candy Land, see also Eager Beavers, see also The LumberYard) was bringing  Brittany to the stage for one last dance and closing its legendary doors.

The Ford Plant is gone. 

The Playboy Club at Great Gorge is gone.

The Bada Bing is gone. 

Chris Christie is gone. 

Geez, New Jersey, I hardly recognize you anymore.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"Suffern" reads like "Suffering".

He got a gun, shot a night clerk now they call him Johnny 99.