Yes Fifth Avenue is poor but better just to see it as a stopping off point on the way to Rue d’Aerschot where you are guaranteed to find at least one girl you fancy. As always I have my Stations of the Cross. I had it in Soho back in the 1990s fin-de-siecle, had it in Berlin during the Mon Cheri/Stutti golden age, and I have it now in Brussels. Start with Jupiler in the hotel, then a brief stop in Cine Paris, then one in Café Jimmy, then walk along the street girls to Fifth Avenue. Only then can I head up to Rue d’Aerschot. Perhaps a Brussels Grill or Domino’s Pizza on the way back. Later that night if I wake up in time, a last visit to Cine Paris.
Soho is dead now for me, of course; as is Berlin. As is Munich. Just Brussels and Vienna left. Brussels once a month and Vienna twice a year perhaps. I’ve learnt getting the Megabus to Brussels IS a viable and not TOO painful option (for just £20 or so!); but no way would I get the coach back—waiting in the freezing cold outside Gare du Nord station at 1am for a bus that may never be turning up, and if it does no idea if it is full up with screaming teenagers or football hooligans.
Berg 5 Altenberg Songs, Salamati, Udo & Jenny Jürgens. Lily Wood, Chakachas. Belgium, Germany and Austria feel like home to me now, I have been here so many times, and had just about all of the highest nights of my life here. London is just the place I work. Since the closure of Carnival Strip 1997, Astral Cinema 1998, Sunset Cinema 2009, Soho Cinema 2013, and then finally the Flying Scotsman 2015, this is certainly true. Berlin feels less of a home since the closure of Mon Cheri etc. Brussels feels less of a home since the closure of Cine ABC, and California. Vienna feels less of a home since the closure of Pour Platin (2010) and loss of floozies from Fortuna Kino (2015). Munich feels less of a home since private dances went up to a ridiculous 50 euros.
Berlin has so many memories for me, but (like Munich) that is all it is now, just memories. Memories of Yulia in Hanky Panky (now gone), Riccarda in Mon Cheri (now gone), Iga in Golden Gate (now gone), Olga & Alla in Mazurka (now gone). So sad. The high nights I had in Berlin. Life-changing. I’d had carnal experiences in Soho for years, but Berlin took me to another level entirely, and really opened me up as a human being, and dare I say, as a man. I came out of the chrysalis a butterfly, thanks to Berlin. I bloomed and blossomed thanks to Berlin, and came back to London so much more confident. It is cinema that taught us how to live, said Godard (who I revere). Well, it is strip clubs and floozie bars that taught me how to live. How to talk to women, which is the same thing. So yes, with the wiping out of Stuttgarter Platz Berlin really died for me. The way Soho did with the closure of Carnival Strip, Astral Cinema, Sunset Cinema (and much later Soho Cinema and Boulevard Strip). The place I lost my Vienna Virginity (Pour Platin) is closed down, knocked down, completely gone, a big hole in the Gurtel where it used to be. The place I lost my Berlin virginity is gone, turned into a (s)wanky cocktail bar. Amazingly the place I lost my original virginity, 61 Dean Street Soho, is still open for customers. I include this note for future biographers, and future idolators who may wish to make pilgrimage to the important places of MY life. I remain convinced it will happen. Convinced of my historical importance, even if nobody realises it yet. No one realised Van Gogh’s significance until long after he died; Kafka, etc. Even Samuel Pepys. I am writing and living my life (as a work of art) for posterity.
I was born 20 years too late. The 1890s sound fantastic, the 1920s in Berlin sound fantastic, but in the modern era, the 1970s perhaps was the golden age of pornography & prostitution in Europe. I didn’t discover these wonderful places till the 1990s, just as they were about to go into decline—due to Internet—easily accessible pornography for everybody—and new bizarre Puritanism. The death of the sex places is understandable even to me. When I was growing up, if I wanted to see a naked woman I had to go to Soho—because it was before internet. Now if I want see a naked woman I just open up my internet. No.1 reason for the death of the sex places right there.
Beer, pornography & prostitution—the greatest things in life. My 3 drugs. My 3 opiums. I travel to indulge the opiums. Already in Soho (since my career in infamy began in 1992) I have lost Carnival Strip Club, Astral Cinema, Sunset Cinema, Soho Cinema, Boulevard Striptease, Pleasure Lounge & Peep Show, 50% of the “French models” flats; in Berlin almost all of Stuttgarter Platz, Chocolat, Hanky Panky/Stutti Frutti, Mon Cheri, Golden Gate, Starlight, Night Dreams, Blue Bananas, Cascade Sex Kino all gone; in Vienna Pour Platin, where I lost my Vienna virginity. Not just closed, but knocked down, razed to the ground, an empty hole in the Gurtel like a missing tooth. It is like someone is deliberately going after all the places that have given me erotic pleasure, illicit thrills, sleazy pleasure, and closing them down one by one to leave me with NOWHERE left to go. Last year, I lost Fortuna Kino in Vienna and Flying Scotsman in London; this year I am sure WSK in Vienna and the street girls of Brussels Rue des Commercants. This is why I want to travel more & more, faster & faster. You may wonder why I have never gone to the most famous red light districts, of Amsterdam and Hamburg, even Antwerp; but I am a creature of habit. Brussels, Munich, Vienna and Berlin are my homes. Well, Munich is over for me, and in fact I am more likely to go to Nuremberg, and Berlin feels pretty much over as well, with the 90% loss of Stuttgarter Platz. When I see strip clubs and night bars close down, I feel sad. Normal, respectable establishments make me feel so depressed. I do indeed have a mind completely bitten by the serpent of sex, and I cannot understand why everyone is not like me. But, it has to be sex without emotion, sex without “relationship”. Pure priapic, erotic rampancy. Sex for the pleasure of sex, sex for the visual pleasure of sex. Sex as just hands on pornography. I am really phobic to emotions. Only one woman has ever got through my defences, and remains “behind my defences” (in a kind of perpetual offside position).
I feel like Greece, lurching from one payment deadline to the next, and it always looks like I will not be able to make the payment, but somehow I just about manage it. If I didn’t travel I could slowly return to financial well-being, but without travel I don’t see any point to life. Why is sitting in a Brussels bar staring out the window so much better than sitting in a London bar staring out the window? I don’t know, but it is. If Soho hadn’t been wiped out, Astral Cinema, Carnival Strip, Sunset Cinema, in particular, maybe I would not need to travel; but if Soho is dead then I must travel for those kind of jollies. Almost 2 o’clock already; I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere. 2 o’clock now and I think I’m getting to the point now where I think I will NOT be going anywhere–I was planning on going up to Gare du Nord and checking out the windows again and this time the porn kinos up there; but I don’t think I will bother going all that way now. I wish I could stay in Brussels forever; so close to home, a wonderful suspension, and always the possibility of naughtiness if you want it (I haven’t on this trip) (but it makes you feel so relaxed to know that there are whores available if you want them).