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A Memoir About New York City''s Famous Gay Hustler Bar ROUNDS

Charles Scaglione Sr. recently has published a self-styled memoir chronicling his adventures in operating Rounds, a reputed NYC gay hustler bar that opened in 1979, and he's telling some secrets and naming some names. In Camelot Lost (RoseDog Books 2009) Scaglione offers a rarely-revealed insider's perspective into the business side of a gay nightlife establishment -- or "store" as it's referred to in the industry -- and as a straight man provides unique cultural insight into the gay scene as it leaves the wild seventies for the AIDS-ravaged eighties.

Rounds, often euphemistically referred to by Scaglione as a "cruising bar," was located at 303 East 53rd Street in an upscale midtown area known as "the loop" where johns would seek to hook up with hustlers, and its owners apparently intended from the beginning to capitalize on the neighborhood vibe: "The street is a perfect location for a hustler bar. That is what it shall be."

Scaglione, a former executive in the high rise office building industry in Manhattan, had no experience with gay nightlife but his two partners did. One partner was Seymour Seiden, a reputed mob-connected figure who was behind the Sanctuary at 407 West 43rd Street -- perhaps the first modern gay dance club -- which was closed by the city in 1972 as an alleged "supermarket in drugs," and the other was Ken Gersberg a/k/a Ken Gaston, a theater producer who had a successful track record with event promotion. The three men each contributed $50,000 although the apparently penniless Gaston needed to borrow his funds from three friends of Scaglione.

The grand opening of Rounds in 1979 was a star-studded event according to Scaglione in Camelot Lost, and he alleges that record producer David Geffen, Studio 54 owner Steve Rubel, and fashion designer Calvin Klein were among those in attendance. Other celebrities and glitterati who allegedly patronized Rounds over the years included Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol and Vladimir Horowitz. The opening night did not end well for everyone, however. One patron, a friend of Gaston, was shot dead in his apartment later that evening, and apparently he had picked up some rough trade from the Hay Market, a gay hustler bar at 772 Eighth Avenue in the Times Square area. (In 1986 reputed Genovese capo Matty Ianniello was convicted for a skimming racket involving several gay bars including the Hay Market.)

The story does not end well. Ken Gaston died of AIDS in May 1983 -- Shelley Winters delivered his eulogy -- and Seymour Seiden died of AIDS in April 1988. For anyone who doubts whether a straight man can offer a compelling memoir about the gay world, Scaglione offers some of his best writing in recounting the madness as AIDS took his business associates, close friends and Rounds patrons. Indeed, Scaglione writes with remarkable candor about the sexual freedom that generally prevailed during the gay liberation days -- a period which Seiden characterized as Camelot -- until so many were lost to AIDS. Rounds was closed in 1994 following an NYPD raid.(full story at link)

by Anonymousreply 15212/31/2017

He contributed to the AIDS epidemic. He should be run out of town.

by Anonymousreply 105/09/2010

A little harsh, R1. In 1979 what did we know about AIDS? He was looking to make a buck, and apparently his bar met a need.

I'd be interested in hearing from any DLers who patronized Rounds.

by Anonymousreply 205/09/2010

or Hay Market. I apparently live above where it used to be.

by Anonymousreply 305/09/2010

I wanna read it but don't wanna spend 23 bucks for a copy. It can be downloaded on a kindle for 10 bucks but I don't have one of them. Too bad my library isn't carrying it.

by Anonymousreply 405/09/2010

Don't you just love these saintly jackasses like R1 who toss out AIDS accusations at any male who had sex with another male between 1975 and 1985. They're even worse with a bar owner and act as if he was injecting every customer with the plague. Where do these mental midgets come from?

by Anonymousreply 505/09/2010

Fuckin A, ENOUGH. We all don't live in NYC. Enough with all these NY City-centric threads. The world doesn't revolve around you all. Your Barton's Gym steam room antics, cesspool apartments, wacko housewives, terror plots and "tasteful" society whore houses. Really, no one outside of a 70 year old New Yorker cares about yet another gay bar that closed 30 fricken years ago. Post some gossip. Tell us what straight man Calvin Klein was doing in the backroom. Now get off my lawn.

by Anonymousreply 605/09/2010

[quote]Too bad my library isn't carrying it.

Go up to the desk to fill in a request. They'll get it for you on an inter-library loan.

by Anonymousreply 705/09/2010

r5 has AIDS.

by Anonymousreply 805/09/2010

R6 if you have anything even half as interesting to write about your own home city, just post it.

by Anonymousreply 905/09/2010

I spent a lot time in Rounds near the end, 1991-1994. You never knew whom you might meet on a giving night. The bar scene (as opposed to escorts today) gave you a chance to shop around in person, which was a huge plus.

The negative aspects are obvious. The guys were not really pros. So if you met someone whom you liked, often he was just there for a few months getting college tuition money together, or waiting for the next acting job.

As soon as Giuliani became mayor the vibe changed, and, of course, Rounds end during a police raid in the summer of 1994. Too bad.

by Anonymousreply 1005/09/2010

Rounds was dying by 1990, thanks to the rise of the internet (esp. the AOL chatrooms). I remember going there on a Saturday night in 1992 and the place was practically empty - on a night when it used to be hopping. I loved the upstairs piano bar - I'm still friends with one of the pianists who played there.

by Anonymousreply 1105/09/2010 is NOT available on Kindle according to your link.

by Anonymousreply 1205/09/2010

R12 --- Do a search of the book title. I just got it on my Kindle.

by Anonymousreply 1305/09/2010

[quote]Don't you just love these saintly jackasses like [R1] who toss out AIDS accusations at any male who had sex with another male between 1975 and 1985.

Just for the record: by the summer of 1983 everyone in the country knew what AIDS was and that it spread through same-sex unprotected anal intercourse. That was when the AIDS epidemic made the cover of Newsweek, and since in those days Newsweek and Time were always behind on the trends, it's safe to say that everyone knew by the end of 1982 that something dangerous was striking the gay community and that it was spread via unprotected sex.

That doesn't excuse r1's mean and erroneous comment (because no one had even heard of AIDS at all in 1979), but I did want to correct you on the 1985 date--that's just flat-out incorrect. Any gay man who had unprotected anal sex after 1982 who was paying any attention whatsoever to the national news knew that he was taking a terrible risk.

by Anonymousreply 1405/09/2010

I knew it in its later days. It wasn't at all sleazy. The hustlers always looked pretty hot.

by Anonymousreply 1505/09/2010

The Newsweek cover from April, 1983:

by Anonymousreply 1605/09/2010

Anyone read the book yet?

by Anonymousreply 1705/09/2010

um, fuck off your high horse r14, there were any number of people who didn't know shit about HIV, AIDS or prevention in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, etc.

The US government wasn't talking about it, the medical establishment largely had no clue outside tier-1 cities, very little drug research was underway, and the first Int'l AIDS Cofeence didn't even happen until 1985. Hell, the *word* AIDS wasn't even used until 1982

When discussing an era before email and the internet, when closets were much bigger and more numerous, in a society where local newspapers, radio and TV were not interested at all in gay concerns, it is simply untrue to posit that "everyone in the country knew what AIDS was and that it spread through same-sex unprotected anal intercourse."

You disrespect the memories of thousands of people who perished innocently because WE DIDN'T KNOW.

And what frightens me a little about your post is it sounds like "dust-off-your-hands, everyone knows" be some set point in time. There was and continues to be an enormous task of communicating to young people, especially those who grow up without effective sex education or access to neutral media.

by Anonymousreply 1805/09/2010

I was THERE then. And we knew by 1983 that sex was spreading AIDS among gay men.

by Anonymousreply 1905/09/2010

Thanks R13. It's weird that Amazon shows that it is not available in one place and that it IS available here...

by Anonymousreply 2005/09/2010

Oh great, just what the gay community should be focused on, a gay hustler bar from the "good ol days" and its AIDS spreading owner.

by Anonymousreply 2105/09/2010

[quote]I did want to correct you on the 1985 date--that's just flat-out incorrect.

While I'm aware of the dates that the epidemic become well-known, I'm pointing to idiots like R1 who even accuse people who used protection of spreading AIDS. They don't care if we were careful or not, they just want to bash anyone who had sex (protected or unprotected) during that era. People like R1 are gay-bashers, no different from the gay-bashers of the Religious Reich.

by Anonymousreply 2205/10/2010

I was there in 1983, too -- and believe me, in the cow town I grew up in, people didn't know.

BTW, I'm a lesbian, and I had many gay friends who died.

by Anonymousreply 2305/10/2010

Rounds was definitely upscale. You "donated" more for the charity of rent men there. They also didn't look as if you wuld be robbed. If I remember correctly, boys couldn' come in tee shirts and sneakers.

The Haymarket was a different story. Not prior to Aids, but prior to crack hitting NY, the boys there were "straight" rough trade" whites largely giving way to Hispanics near the end. What was so funny, is that when the boys made their money, they would often go across the street to the Gilded Grape, to hang out with their "girl friends" the Drag queens who held court at the Grape. The queens dated the boys and vs.

They never would have thought of charging each other. That changed with the drug epidemic.

But the Haymarket had some beauties!

by Anonymousreply 2405/10/2010

I knew Ken Gaston (and his ex-wife, Didi). ROUNDS was a place where a lot of actor/singer/dancers could earn some extra cash. On a few occasions, I surprised some actor friends by bumping into them at Rounds. And I knew the Haymarket as well. They actually had a pretty good/cheap hamburger, which you could get up to 4AM. No one ever mentions that. One of the sweetest love stories I know began at the Haymarket. It involved a friend who was a stage manager for HAIR at the old Biltmore Theater and his "hustler" boy friend. I'll write about it someday.

by Anonymousreply 2505/10/2010

Yes R21, it is always better to sanitize history and make it politically correct.

by Anonymousreply 2605/10/2010

By 1984 the great majority of literate gay men in NYC knew how HIV was spread. I was there too. Not necessarily IV drug users or closet types in rural or small town America. But NYC, yes.

Long before Rounds opened 53rd and Third was a very randy and somewhat trashy "open air" hustler corner- before all the office towers were built on 3rd Ave and walkup resident buildings with small businesses in the ground floors (including bars) predominated. I lived on 52nd and the East River and LOVED walking over there on a hot summer evening- never did a thing just took it all in- LOTS of hot hustlers- bought my copy of After Dark at the news stand at 53rd and Third and retreated to the security of my parents home.

Rounds was pretty fancy for a gay bar- tacky fancy, and not really my thing- hustlers- I was young then too. But I knew lots of guys who liked it, and many older guys who loved it for the obvious reasons. Good hustlers (professionals) and those who patronize them know and knew how to protect themselves from STDs. It's the careless and young who do not, in general, then and now.

Part of gay history in NYC.

by Anonymousreply 2705/10/2010

[quote]Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol

Oh my god, can you imagine servicing that trio of horrors.

by Anonymousreply 2805/10/2010

[quote]Oh my god, can you imagine servicing that trio of horrors.

Yes, I can...

*reminisces happily*

by Anonymousreply 2905/10/2010

I remember the place well. I got my moniker there, "Bill'sTwo Bit Thrills" because of my incredibly value packed pricing.

by Anonymousreply 3005/10/2010

I went a few times, but had no money to buy. It was fun to watch and fantasize and there was a slightly decadent, Cabaret-like feel in watching cute young guys crawl into the laps of old geezers.

by Anonymousreply 3105/10/2010

Is the Townhouse stil around on 59th st.?

by Anonymousreply 3205/10/2010

It's around, but not on 59th/

by Anonymousreply 3305/10/2010

r32, here's The Townshouse.

by Anonymousreply 3405/10/2010

Today's trade is tomorrow's competition.

by Anonymousreply 3505/10/2010

I went there a couple of times.

The first time, during it's heyday in the 80's.

I was a high school student from Upstate NY and needed some extra money during my trip to NYC. It was the summer of 1982, and I didn't have enough for bus fare home.

A nice older guy bought me for the night. For $50 he gave me a blow job and I spent the night.

I was a whore, darlin'!

The boys for hire there were like GQ handsome. None of them looked gay. I am sure I looked like the blond, hick twink from the sticks, that I was.

Downloaded this via Kindle for the iPad.

Many thanks for telling me about it.

Oh and all the "sex negative Mary's" need to go eat some Hostess Ho-Ho's.

by Anonymousreply 3605/10/2010

RoseDog Books is a print on demand self-publishing company. Self-published books generally don't get picked up by bookstores and libraries on the assumption that if a commercial publisher doesn't want to put money into it, there's probably not going to be much demand for it.

by Anonymousreply 3705/10/2010

Was Rounds just a bar or did they have a restaurant?

by Anonymousreply 3805/10/2010

I'm pretty sure there was a restaurant in there as well. I even think I ate there... with a friend who loved to pick up hustlers- in about 1985. He had a fantasy about it- not that you need that to do it... but he was quite capable of having sex for free with good looking guys.

by Anonymousreply 3905/10/2010

At some point it did also become a restaurant (around 1986). Food was okay and quite inexpensive but the drinks were overpriced. For example, salad/soup combo for six bucks and another six bucks for a coke to wash it down.

by Anonymousreply 4005/10/2010

Townhouse? **shudder**

by Anonymousreply 4105/10/2010

Anyone remember a bar on the East Side where customers descended a staircase to the restaurant? I thought it was The Candy Store, but a friend says I'm wrong.

by Anonymousreply 4205/10/2010

Thanks for all the NYC stories guys. I moved here in 1995 when I was 20, so missed out on that earlier scene, but got to enjoy an entirely different one.

I definitely was not a "literate gay man in NYC" in 1983. In fact I was 8 and living in Ohio. But I do distinctly remember people even still thinking then that AIDS could be spread by mosquitoes.

And I also remember a diet supplement called AYDS that quickly went out of business.

by Anonymousreply 4305/10/2010

Wasn't the Mayfair on First Avenue & 53rd also gay?

by Anonymousreply 4405/10/2010

Yes, AYDS! Supposed to be an appetite suppressant that looked and tasted a bit like caramel. My mother tried them. What an unfortunate marketing dilemma they had.

by Anonymousreply 4505/11/2010

One of the sweetest love stories I know began at the Haymarket. It involved a friend who was a stage manager for HAIR at the old Biltmore Theater and his "hustler" boy friend. I'll write about it someday.

Billy I look forward to reading the story. LOVE your stories.


by Anonymousreply 4605/11/2010

I used to work there, I used the name, Penny Candy. I was known as the affordable treat.

by Anonymousreply 4705/13/2010

Zak - I downloaded on Kindle too - is the formattign a little weird on your Kindle?

by Anonymousreply 4805/13/2010

I used to go to Rounds back in the 80's in NYC. Would love to read the book: Camelot Lost. Can not find it. Called the Publisher Rosedog and they said the Author terminated his contract, etc. Can anybody help me with getting the book??? Will return it and pay for postage, etc. Let me know via

Matt from Long Island, living in Florida

by Anonymousreply 4907/09/2012

It sounds like fun. Like the Charles Dickens of cock.

by Anonymousreply 5007/09/2012

What was the name of the hustler bar on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, next to the Laugh Factory? Is it still in existence? What's the big huster bar in L.A. now?

by Anonymousreply 5107/09/2012

Can not help you find the book.

But I can verify that Rounds was the real deal. The mamagement was very good about kicking guys out who caused trouble. I can never remember being concerned about bringing a 'working guy' from Rounds home.

by Anonymousreply 5207/09/2012

I used to see the ads for Rounds in every issue of After Dark magazine. It looked the kind of place the editor Bill Como would visit, perhaps with the sainted Norma McLain Stoop (remember her?): full of young men in ironed flares with their hair blow waved into layered wings. Heaven, darlings!

by Anonymousreply 5307/09/2012

[quote]Called the Publisher Rosedog and they said the Author terminated his contract, etc.

It looks like that means distribution even for Kindle is cancelled because the Amazon kindle and other pages for it have been pulled. No used copies on ABE either. So it looks like it's going to become the Gutenburg Bible of gay books!

by Anonymousreply 5407/09/2012

R51, I think you're talking about Numbers. I think it closed.

by Anonymousreply 5507/09/2012

A scene from the Lauren Bacall film "The Fan" is shot at Haymarket on 8th Ave.

by Anonymousreply 5607/09/2012

R55, that's it! Thanks. So where is a hustler bar in L.A. now?

by Anonymousreply 5707/09/2012

[quote]So where is a hustler bar in L.A. now?

Sadly, there are no longer any bars to pick up trade in LA.

RIP: The Spotlight.

The lowest of the sleaziest, where dreams went to die...

by Anonymousreply 5807/09/2012

i miss numbers. i loved that place.

by Anonymousreply 5907/09/2012

Wasn't there an east side bar called CHAPS?

by Anonymousreply 6007/09/2012

Amazon now list the book as ROUNDS not CAMELOT LOST but there are no copies available

by Anonymousreply 6107/09/2012

I agree R23 it all depends on where you were.

By the mid and late 80s no matter where you were in the United States you knew what HIV/AIDS was and that having unprotected sex without condoms was how you got it, along with sharing IV rigs.

In 1983 AIDS was known about but people thought that if they were not in NYC, L.A., SF, or even Atlanta or Miami that they wouldn't get it and that it only mainly concerned bisexual men, gay men, and IV drug users.

I know that if you were in the south or midwest people at the time thought that HIV/AIDS didn't happen there or mainly only happened to people in larger cities.

by Anonymousreply 6207/09/2012

I remember the sweet old lady with "blonde" hair who sang and played the piano. There was a nasty looking broad with red/brown hair with bad skin who would do alternate nights. That one always made sure to sing "Love For Sale" during her set which made me wince every time I heard it.

The doorman at the time I went was a hunky black guy, forget his name. He was a good guy. I was there really to hang around but since i was 25 or so the "boys" began to think I was zeroing in on their "turf" and would threaten me. I got the doorman to get them off my case.

I remember Joey Stefano stumbling in about 2 am once, having a look around, not seeing any "attractive" older men to escort for so he just turned around and left.

When I was going there weren't a lot of hustlers there that I thought were genuinely attractive. There was a German one who was repulsive, a very plain guy who looked like a farmboy with greasy straight hair and a black guy who looked like a somewhat younger Blair Underwood. There was an Italian-looking guy who dressed very well and seemed toknow how to chat with the older gents. But he'd seem to chat forever with them and never do any business.

by Anonymousreply 6307/09/2012

I have to check my Kindle. I know I purchased it earlier. If his deal with the publisher ended, would that mean that Amazon would remove the purchase from my Kindle ??

by Anonymousreply 6407/09/2012

The Amazon page lists an AOL address for the author.

by Anonymousreply 6507/09/2012

The book sucks and has been out forever.

by Anonymousreply 6607/10/2012

Barry Diller LIVED at Rounds. You couldn't swing a dead cat w/out bumping into her.

by Anonymousreply 6707/10/2012

I went to rounds many times between 85-93 when I lived there. It wasn't my scene but I had a friends who liked to meet there and the townhouse for drinks and dinner. They were on both ends of the spectrum - boys and their admirers / patrons. I got a few propositions as I was younger but never took money as I was looking for love. I did have a nice weekend with a guy who was married and got a nice Rolex as a present. He and I hooked up a few times and he always bought me something expensive. But I couldn't keep it going with a married dude.

I remember running into him and his wife at a party in East Hampton and the wife was very confused.

by Anonymousreply 6807/10/2012

Many of us in Atlanta were very aware of HIV in 1983. n I still remember the 1st person I knew to contract the virus. He was gone in 3 months, completely wasted away.

I remember the 1st one. Can't remember the hundreds that followed. I do remember during the late 90s when our local gay rag had an issue that didn't contain any obits. That was a story in itself.

by Anonymousreply 6907/10/2012

Ken Gaston died of aids in 1983? I didn't even know it existed in 1983 and I worked in a hospital. I think the word was slow in getting out.

by Anonymousreply 7007/10/2012

I thought the Townhouse was the hustler bar in NYC?

by Anonymousreply 7107/10/2012

No, R71, Rounds was an aggresive hustler bar and the Townhouse was for the most part an elegant piano bar for men of a certain age. It would have hustlers in there from time to time (it was only a short walk from Rounds) but it became infested with hustlers when Rounds closed. It's apparently been fumigated.

I used to go to the Townhouse and it never failed to resemble a funeral home both in design and clientele.

by Anonymousreply 7207/10/2012

[quote]Anyone remember a bar on the East Side where customers descended a staircase to the restaurant?

The Harmonia Gardens?

by Anonymousreply 7307/10/2012

That would be the Townhouse Restaurant which was a few doors down from the bar.

by Anonymousreply 7407/10/2012

OP said he named names...anyone new?

by Anonymousreply 7507/10/2012

The first time I walked into Rounds, I was not sure I was in the right place. Within ten minutes a 'college student' walked up (noticing my confusion), and said this is a place where students like me go to pay their bills.

I have only been to the Townhouse twice; it would take many visits before that kind of honest conversation would take place there.

by Anonymousreply 7607/10/2012

Helen Reddy said she used to see gay guys when she lived in New York City

by Anonymousreply 7707/10/2012

r25, Bess Myerson also played at the Biltmore when it was CBS Studio 62. She'd descend a staircase wearing a fur coat as "A Pretty Girl is Like A Melody" was heard. She was co-host on "The Big Payoff" weekday afternoons.

by Anonymousreply 7807/10/2012

What the fuck does Bess Meyerson have t

by Anonymousreply 7907/12/2012

Bars like Rounds and male prostitutes are not responsible for HIV/AIDS. Unsafe sex is.

by Anonymousreply 8007/13/2012

I remember seeing Diller there but didn't know who he was. His face used to scare the shit out of me. He was hideous. Such a nasty, evil face-like a villain in a TV show.

by Anonymousreply 8107/13/2012

Diller does kind of have a troll face. I always wondered if he was a secret Republican.

by Anonymousreply 8207/13/2012

So, as usual, no one knows who showed up at Rounds and no one has read the book?

No gossip! Never any gossip!

by Anonymousreply 8307/14/2012

[quote]One of the sweetest love stories I know began at the Haymarket. It involved a friend who was a stage manager for HAIR at the old Biltmore Theater and a "hustler" boyfriend. I'll write about it someday.

Funny that I’m finishing up this story 2 years after my first post. Sorry, it’s not about Rounds, but rather the Haymarket.

My friend Galen was a stage manager for a production of HAIR playing in the late 70s on Broadway. At the time, I worked down West 47th Street at another theater, and we would hang out after our respective shows at a quirky Cuban bar called (of all things) the TIJUANA CAT on West 46th Street. Galen was a young hippy with an eclectic personality. At the age of 16, he had been Harvey Milk’s lover. We learned later that he was bi-polar and that this combined with his history of drugs and alcohol abuse would lead to his accidental death in 1980 at the age of 30, when he fell eight stories from an apartment building.

Galen had a bar friend named Jimmy. Jimmy was a sweetheart, but was overweight and shy. He and Galen would often go near closing to the Haymarket, a hustler bar on Eighth Avenue, where Galen would score drugs and encourage Jimmy to hook up. What Jimmy would do was to find some young guy who hadn’t hooked up that night and offer him a place to crash. Galen acted as matchmaker, encouraging Jimmy to speak up, screening the candidates, and making sure his friend would be okay. It often worked out for both Jimmy and the hustler.

Well, one night Galen found the proverbially kid-just-off-the-bus who didn’t know the ropes and probably would have been eaten alive by the sleazy hustler life. He immediately steered the kid towards Jimmy and did his magic. Jimmy was a great cook and offered the kid a place to stay and a meal, and the kid gratefully accepted.

Jimmy showed up at Tijuana Cat the next night with the kid in tow, and Galen discretely told us the story. We were concerned that Jimmy was smitten and that the kid was just using him, but Galen assured us that he would keep an eye on them both. The relationship blossomed over the weeks, and we saw less and less of Jimmy out at the bar, and heard more and more of Galen’s stories about the love birds embracing the wonderful city of New York and their own special relationship. Galen was so happy for his friend.

Jimmy sent the kid back to school where he got his GED and eventually went to (I believe) culinary school. The two were inseparable and probably the happiest couple I had ever seen at the time. A truly wonderful love story. I credit this all to Galen’s Cupid.

I’ve posted a picture of Galen from the net.

by Anonymousreply 8407/14/2012

Great story, Billy Boy!

by Anonymousreply 8507/14/2012

Is Andy Cohen going to defend poor Barry Diller against you mean people?

by Anonymousreply 8607/14/2012

I was there from 1984 to 1994 as a John. I met my toyboi who was at Fordham, was beyond the hottest guy with the biggest dick I have ver had in 50 yrs of sucking cock. We were together 7 great years. I met other hot cute NON pro guys there. The asshole who 'wrote' the book destroyed the pace by kicking out all the nice young guys and allowing the street hustlers in. And yes, we knew about AIDS in 1983 but too many guys had it or could not stop themselves. The internet sucks.

by Anonymousreply 8707/27/2012

Does anyone remember a wrinkle room on E.53rd close to 1st Ave. Hustler low profile very 50's? It was east of Rounds on the north side of the street.

by Anonymousreply 8802/28/2013

I believe you are referring to The G-H Club, r88, or as my friend Richard and I called it, The Gay Horrors Club. They would cash your Social Security check at the bar if you were a regular.

by Anonymousreply 8902/28/2013

A friend and I went to Rounds together several times, once we had dinner there - when our attractive waiter affirmed that he did, indeed, like "ludes", his tip was a very generous handful of them ( I was flush with them at the time through a legitimate source).

by Anonymousreply 9002/28/2013

I remember the ads in the NY papers with the tag line, "Looking for me?"

That became an oft-repeated one-liner amongst friends.

by Anonymousreply 9102/28/2013

What is a "self-styled memoir"?

by Anonymousreply 9203/01/2013

I was hot n' heavy on 53rd and 3rd cruising for boys all the time. I found a few, I found a lot. I'm sorry not I don't think I ever stepped foot into Rounds. They had the cutest street boys there. I suppose these days the entire block is sterilized?

Perhaps the same for Santa Monica Blvd. I think they'll take your car away they catch you cruising for white boys on Santa Monica Blvd these days?

by Anonymousreply 9305/31/2013

I spent time at Haymarket and Rounds as a young man who had recently arrived in NYC from the South. Rounds was for earning some cash.

There was not much going on at Haymarket by then, the mid 80's. But I liked the atmosphere and I really liked a married Italian-American bar tender named Frankie, who also liked me.

He drove a Corvette convertable and used to take me to all of those after hours dance clubs that were suddenly opening and closing during that era.

It took me a while to understand that Frankie was doing some serious drugs and by then I had met a nice WASP banker from the UES - and that was the end of that.

by Anonymousreply 9405/31/2013

Did Barry Diller meet Princess von Furstenburg at Rounds?

by Anonymousreply 9505/31/2013

We're all going to get old, if we're lucky.

by Anonymousreply 9605/31/2013

R60 - Chaps was on Lexington Avenue and 86 Street

by Anonymousreply 9705/31/2013

I went there several times in the 1980s. I had a fruend who liked to meet up there after work. Yeah I'm an old now. The working boys were all in the back. The Johns in the front around the bar. I used to get hit on by them and they'd offer me money when I went dressed more casually. But got approached by the boys when I went in my yuppie mode. I preferred to talk with them in the back as they were more my age.

I remember one cute blond working boy telling me he never knew his father. And every time he went with an older guy he wondered if he might be him. It touched me.

Most were actually quite decent boys as I remember. Aspiring actors, writers, dancers, no real plans... that sort of thing. The really rough hustlers were at this other more downscale bar on the other west side of avenue on the same street. I forget the name.

by Anonymousreply 9806/01/2013

"I had a fruend who liked to meet up there after work."

"Freund" Is that a pal who helps you work out your Mommy issues?

by Anonymousreply 9906/01/2013

"I remember one cute blond working boy telling me he never knew his father. And every time he went with an older guy he wondered if he might be him."


by Anonymousreply 10006/01/2013

I'd love to get my hands on a copy of the book, but it seems to have been wiped off the face of the earth!

by Anonymousreply 10106/01/2013

Actually, R99...

by Anonymousreply 10206/01/2013

There was this cute boy named Lee who I had sex with a couple of times. I took him to a hotel to have the sex because I couldn't bring him home. He was known for a big ass. One millimeter more and he would've been called fat. But he was real cute. I took care of him pretty well. He was among my top three I ever had sex with.

There was like this sort of hotel off East 56th street I think it was where you could bring the boy for sex because they were set up for that with cubicles. I was in there a few times. One time one of the boys robbed me by going to the locker and taking out my personal belongings. Oh well.

But I brought in this ultra-spectacular blonde boy in there one night and had some unbelievable sex with him; the kind of sex you can't even imagine honey. And then in another cubible someone let out a groan of love but I knew who had the top sex in there that day, honey. And possibly forever.

We were doing a sixty-nine but he was laying next to me but I told him if he could "come on top of me." He sort of nodded and he didn't realize I had my finger up his ass and by the time he came around on top of me he got manic and plowed down and tried to shove his left nut into my mouth so hard. But I had my teeth clenched because he had a little bit of hair on his balls. Thank god I didn't bite him by accident because sometimes in an involuntary reflex kicks in. Because half his left scrotum was already in my mouth thank god I didn't bite him by accident. That'st the danger.

If you could duplicate that type of boylove I'd sure like to hear about it.

Is there anymore action taking place today at 53rd and 3rd Avenue? Or is it just sterilized up like everything else.

by Anonymousreply 10306/02/2013

r103 = mlop's gay brother

by Anonymousreply 10406/02/2013

Lee was sweet. I picked him up on 2nd Avenue right there between 54th and 53rd Street. He always had this thing about "high ass."

So after we had sex the first time he called me for some more sex (and more money,) This time I told him do a bicycle which he did. Of course he's so young and naive he never did a bicycle for anymore before. Sweetie lemme tell you that ass was dumb high up in the air sweetie. Plus he had a little powder on it for me.

I could do nothing but move in there quickly and get started kissing that sweet ass down down to the ground of the bed. He went "hauh" because you know that's a squishing position to be in and then surprisingly he found it in himself to start licking my balls even in that tight squeeze position I had him in. If I would've cum right there I wouldn't know what to do with Lee. Those sweet legs were just hanging up in the air sweetie swinging slightly just waiting for me to go in there and start kissing the crotch they were seemingly connected to.

Isn't this boy love Lee-love in the umpteenth degree? Yes. The only regret was that he broke the position moments a few moments too soon. I was not finished yet kissing that sweet thing in there day 'n night.

So then it was time for me to come. I told him "sit on the bed." Lee is learning a lot of new tricks from an old dog. I told him I want to come in his mouth but he sort of objected because I had vaseline I was stroking myself with. He said "doesn't it make you shit a lot?" It doesn't actually.

So there I am stroking it and leaning into Lee sitting on the bed facing me. I told him to put his finger up my ass. Because I didn't have a high ass he obliged, but somewhat hesitatingly. But he obliged. Then I told him "shake it around." I just meant the finger but he started shaking his whole entire body around which was a pleasant purprise!

It was at that moment I got overcum with the Lee-love. I knoecked him down to the bed so hard it made me regret I forgot to put a pillow behind him because we both knew this was gonna happen sort of anyway. In retrospect I should've rammed it right into his fucking mouth even over his objections, right?

So there I was still stroking it after cumming because at that point I was overwhelmed with the Lee love and got swept off my feet, perhaps for the first time ever I do not remember now. And he was a love. I caught his face and I could see he was sort of contorted becausze at that point wasn't every stroke a punch against his sweet young Lee-chest? Man i was hittin' him up pretty good.

He didn't mind because after the sex he had me drive to a news stand and picked out comic books for him while he waited in the car at little little Lee young leisure and just pointed to the comic books for him from the car. Yes to this one and no to that one....

After reading this I'm sure you can see that Lee was certainly one of my most memorable catches off the Loop we all enjoyed so much. At least I did. Lee I really miss you a whole lot kid and I'm sure you remember me too.

by Anonymousreply 10506/03/2013

Anyone know of a current bar in the vicinity of 48th and Eighth with a drag show and a haunted house decor? A friend went there last night and doesn't remember the name.

by Anonymousreply 10606/20/2013

I don't know anything about 48th & 8th, today or yesterday. I stuck mainly on the East Side and Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. And Europe, and the West Village occasionally. Yes, that's where I picked up most of my boys and had the sex with them.

by Anonymousreply 10706/21/2013

r106 here. The bar existed under a different name years ago. We know it wasn't The Hay Market.

by Anonymousreply 10806/21/2013

R106, The only thing that comes to mind is Jekyll & Hyde, but that is (was) on 6th Ave and never had a drag show.

by Anonymousreply 10906/21/2013

You've got to really fall in love with a boy to stick your tongue way up his ass as far as it will go and ever farther. I've done this with a few boys. Lee, Greg, Coco and a few others I think> I miss so many opportunities though.

Hey I should write for True Confessions I'm so candid lol. Yes, I've had sex with so many boys. I've had sex with so many many many many many many many boys. You and I know how hot it was on "the Loop" back in the day.

I don't know. Not too long ago I saw this real cute boy hanging out with friends on Christopher Street. I don't have a car anymore either. It was easy to pick up cute boys with a car. Without a car it's a bit harder I think.

But now even with a car I think the police are out to confiscate cars. They call it "using a car in the commission of a crime." I don't know. Maybe now it's a crime but back then everything wasn't so sterile and rigid like it is today.

It's fucking hard.

by Anonymousreply 11007/05/2013

1981 in New York was my year as a taxi driver trying to be an actor. Rounds was my favorite place to 'hack' -- park and wait for fares. The doormen knew me and often steered pairs of fares, an older gentleman and a handsome young man usually, to my cab door. One evening at around 9:00 pm a bodybuilder and a older man got into my cab to head to a very nice building on the Upper East Side. By midnight I was there again and the same young bodybuilder with a different older man got into my cab again and they headed to his townhouse in the Village. The muscle kid didn't notice me the first time and not the second time either. But I always remembered his face and physique. 25 years later, in 2005, I met a friend at the end of SF to LA AIDS ride. Who was riding partner? The bodybuilder, 25 years older and still buff and unmistakable. Talk to turned life in NY in the early 80s when we both lived there. "I drove a taxi my first year," I told him when he asked. Even New Yorkers want to know what it's like to drive a cab in the city. "It was great. I saw the most unbelievable things. I used to hack in front of the Mineshaft, the Ramrod, the Eagle. But my favorite was a place on 53rd called Rounds. That place had to most stories to tell." He shrugged and said he'd never heard of it but it sounded fun. I pretended to believe him and told him that it was.

by Anonymousreply 11108/17/2013

Great story, Larryman.

by Anonymousreply 11209/07/2013

I remember the bar well, going in there during my college years,,,no, not as a working boy, just trying out all the bars when I was 19--The drinking age was 18 back then. Rounds was fun, and once when I was 28 I was in there by myself for a drink, and I was standing against the wall facing the bar. An older gentlemen came up to me and asked "how much?" I replied that he was mistaken...I wasn't for hire. He got really pissed off and told me that I was standing on the wrong side of the bar!

Anyway, I don't recommend the book. First, I don't think there was an editor of any kind to put it together in a cohesive manner. The author includes much irrelevant material, some graphic moments of sex that do nothing to titillate of progress the story. There is not much of A story at all. A FEW names are dropped, but nothing of importance happens. Had I known I wouldn't have wasted my money. Skip it..someone should write a great book full of anecdotes of the goings-on--that's what I wanted to hear about.

by Anonymousreply 11312/06/2013

I remember the old woman who played the keyboard, mostly show tunes; I always wondered what she really thought.

by Anonymousreply 11412/06/2013

Then the breeders move to the neighborhood and.......

by Anonymousreply 11512/06/2013

Beginning around 1983, the OTB at 53rd and 2nd began staying open late for the harness races, so I would go down to bet sometimes. It was obvious that it was Gay Hookerville. Didn't know it had extended to the bars.

I'm heterosexual, and learned what AIDS (then called GRID) was in 1981. Anyone who read and watched the news regularly would have known of the dangers by then or soon after. It was 1984 or 1985 when they developed the first test for the virus.

by Anonymousreply 11612/06/2013

I just about lived in the place, we would hit Julius in the afternoon and when the sun went down we would go up to Rounds. the place was really cool how anyone could say it was an evil place or dangerous is pure bullshit, try to find a place like that in NYC now ! I moved to Vegas in 1990 when I visit NYC now it's a boring town and dont tell me about NYC i was born and raised in the city. I remember when it was a 24 hour party town !

by Anonymousreply 11704/01/2014

r117, Why do you think the party ended in NYC? Globalization ,AIDS?

Does Las Vegas even come close for great party city?

by Anonymousreply 11804/01/2014

[quote]You've got to really fall in love with a boy to stick your tongue way up his ass as far as it will go and ever farther.

Isn't it rimmantic?

by Anonymousreply 11904/01/2014

But r117, when you are young every city is 24 hour party.

by Anonymousreply 12004/01/2014

Is the Town House still open in NYC/ That could be fun. Also, there was a theater/hustler bar in the Mid 40's between 8th and Broadway. Phantom of the Opera was always playing across the street. This place was fun for awhile too.

by Anonymousreply 12108/06/2014

The hustler bar in the Theatre District was Stella's which was a lot of fun in its prime. Some very hot Puerto Rican, Brazilian, and Arab hustlers there. Also there was an influx of Eastern Europeans for awhile. All "straight".

Somebody else mentioned the burgers at Haymarket. It was fun to sneak in at lunch and find all the other business men in there eating lunch and chatting up the working boys.

Another fun place was the Show Palace where the go go boys would jerk off between dances.

by Anonymousreply 12208/06/2014

"I spent a lot time in Rounds near the end, 1991-1994. You never knew whom you might meet on a giving night."

The biggest Freudian slip in the history of the DL

by Anonymousreply 12308/06/2014

The men who worked there seemed to come from a cross section of backgrounds. I loved it when the straight Brazilians and Romanians drifted in. Once met a man who claimed to be an Ivy League graduate and a lawyer who felt that his time spent bodybuilding was really his ticket. He told me how he loved seeing the fathers of his Ivy League friends at Rounds, and then making them pay to service him.

by Anonymousreply 12408/08/2014

I was in the sixth grade in 1982 and I knew what AIDS was. Who are all these people who claim no one heard of it until later? It was all over the news.

by Anonymousreply 12508/08/2014

Wasn't there another hustler bar, more sleazy, on the same street but I. The other side of the avenue? It was on the north side of 53d close to 2nd avenue and you had to go down a few steps. Anyone remember the name?

by Anonymousreply 12608/09/2014

The gay community knew about the AIDS crisis in 1983 but it still wasn't clear how exactly it was being transmitted, although the primary suspicion was that it was through sex. All they knew for sure was that it was a virus. It wasn't until 1985 that it was confirmed by research groups that exposure and transmission of bodily fluids such as blood and semen was the primary cause of infection, and that practicing "safe sex" can protect against infection.

by Anonymousreply 12708/09/2014

Two great films about the early AIDS crisis are An The Band Played On, and The Normal Heart, which debuted on HBO in May and is out on dvd sometime this month.

by Anonymousreply 12808/09/2014

Did anyone who hustled at Rounds ever become a star? Perhaps even a soap star or Broadway featured player?

All those pretty men, all those muscles, all that attitude...surely someone must have found the right agent sugar daddy to get him to Hollywood?

by Anonymousreply 12908/10/2014

I went there the first time in the summer of 1982. (I posted earlier in the thread about it.)

What amazed me was the amazing amount of extraordinarily good looking guys. The working boys were HANDSOME. Model types.

I was tan, blonde and 18. There were guys who looked like Ralph Lauren models.

On a few subsequent trips, it seemed less amazing but then AIDS was out at that moment.

Just redownloaded my Kindle edition. I will try to read it again. First try it seems like a disjointed mess of a book, as was previously noted.

by Anonymousreply 13008/10/2014

Maybe some descriptions or names will pop out and become recognizable. Times change.

by Anonymousreply 13108/10/2014

I agree I have had this on my Kindle for a long time. Tried to read it for the first time recently and stop .....was a lot of back-and-forth about the guy buying the bar etc. and it still hasn t gotten past that ......might find again again but usually once I have been in the book I'm done

by Anonymousreply 13208/10/2014

I ordered it last week from Amazon because of this threadlist. I used to meet friends from school there for drinks and just watch the transactions. Whenever any of the working men returned for the third trick of the evening and we were still there, we knew it was time to leave. Those were busy boys.

by Anonymousreply 13308/10/2014

i loved the whole uptown thing in the 70's and 80's we'd get wasted in julius or the ninth circle hop into my caddy convertible and cruise 53rd and 3rd. shit im glad scaglione opened rounds it was great i met alot of nice guys there and if you wern't into the hustlers they left you alone. NYC is a bore now with all these millenial assholes trying to prove how important they are, no one smiles any more im glad i did my thing back then.NY Bill

by Anonymousreply 13405/06/2016

Did anyone here that posts on DL work at Rounds as a male prostitute? Or just go there to buy a male prostitute?

by Anonymousreply 13506/08/2016

I hustled ONE time in 1984 out of Rounds. My friend, who was a professional hustler, tried to introduce to the world's oldest profession. An airline pilot picked me up and offered me a $100, so we went to his apartment, did the deed which took less than fifteen minutes, and I felt like garbage afterwards. I never hustled or went back to Rounds again. Frankly, from what I remember from that night is most of the "Johns" wanted 'freebies' from the young hustlers rather than have to pay for it.

by Anonymousreply 13606/08/2016

R4) I don't have a kindle either, but Amazon allows you to download, for free a Kindle Ap so that you can read items on your device that aren't being released in paper format. I did this on my MAC. I'm old and not a tech master and if I managed it, anybody can.

by Anonymousreply 13706/08/2016


by Anonymousreply 13806/08/2016

Anymore Joey Stefano stories?

by Anonymousreply 13908/29/2017

R6, what's new by you?

by Anonymousreply 14008/29/2017

R27, that's a nice story. Very evocative. Summer in the city.

by Anonymousreply 14108/29/2017


by Anonymousreply 14208/29/2017

This is the kind of gay life I missed out on, coming of age after AIDS ravaged us, but before the rise of Grindr.

by Anonymousreply 14308/29/2017

Why would anyone go to a bar or pick up a bisexual or gay male prostitute in NYC or any large city? There were/are tons of men who will have sex with you for free, and one or more of them would be your type.

by Anonymousreply 14412/30/2017

So many of you sound so tragic.

by Anonymousreply 14512/30/2017

The hustlers who weren't chosen at the end of the night would go drown their sorrows at the Royal Canadian Pancake House.

by Anonymousreply 14612/30/2017

R129, most found early death.

by Anonymousreply 14712/30/2017

wow.. wish i had been to rounds. have heard so much about it.

someone should have filmed and interviewed the old women who played piano there.

sounds like a blast. any good storys?

how do i get that book?

where do the escorts go now in nyc?

by Anonymousreply 14812/31/2017


I've had this book on my Kindle since the original OP .............and I still haven't read it.

Book hoarder when they were tactile, book hoarder now that they're electonic

by Anonymousreply 14912/31/2017

it must be redacted somewhere on the internet.

i will try finding it.

love the storys of those days when whores ran rampant at all the fun bars....which were themselves rife with joy!

by Anonymousreply 15012/31/2017

That's not all they were rife with.

by Anonymousreply 15112/31/2017

Roslyn Kind sang there in 1993

by Anonymousreply 15212/31/2017
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