#1: Pee Wee

PEE WEE MARQUETTE WAS THE CAUSTIC M.C. AT HISTORIC JAZZ CLUB, BIRDLAND, DURING THE 1040S AND '50S.

The short-tempered midget spent the last 25 years of his life as doorman-greeter for Hawaii Kai, a schlock tourist restaurant next door to the Winter Garden Theatre in Times Square. Come bend your ear to another voice of Lost New York.

TRANSCRIPT

NARRATOR: This is Tales of Times Square: The Tapes. I’m Josh Alan.

When I was a teenager in the 1970s, the mysteries of Times Square loomed large. 1,200 prostitutes raged across 8th Avenue from 34th to 50th Streets with a corridor of super-fly pimps in their Cadillacs, so many that the police department set up a cordoned-off walkway described by one sergeant as “two pimps wide.” There were dozens of clapboard massage parlors that sprung up week by week with homemade psychedelic signage. Criminality was out of control right outside the legitimate Broadway theaters. All of this mixed uneasily with the history of old Broadway whose Guys-and-Dolls senior denizens still survived in their old age amid this new squalor.