In a classic only in New York story, a bomb scare in Manhattan yesterday turned out to be an 80s disco times capsule.

And cartoonists James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook (The Late Child and Other Animals, 7 Miles a Second) have revealed they were instrumental to planting it!

Construction on West 21st at the site of the old Danceteria nightclub from the days of disco and Desperately Seeking Susan uncovered something that looking like an unexploded bomb.  After much hubbub, street closing and alarm, Upon inspection, it turned out to be a time capsule from the 80s.

On her Facebook page, van Cook reveals that she and Romberger were instrumental in making and publicizing the event at the time. She was one of the event producers, and Romberg drew the flyer invites for the event. And she has the memorabilia from the era.

She writes (reprinted with permission)

James Romberger did the drawing on the front of the invite. On the reverse is the accredition to me and Arnold Wechsler (RIP) as producers. It was a continuation of the East Village Look show, which Steve Lewis hired us (me and James Romberger) to do and we also displayed some of the art that was destined for the time capsule. Lots of good times with Steve brainstorming shows. Then he just let us run wild .The project lasted for quite a few weeks before its actual burial. The bomb casing was hanging with objects on display and a clear plastic box which invited people to leave their messages for the future.

We buried the time capsule which had one of Diana Ross’ fake eyelashes and Chi Chi Valenti g string among thousands of messages to the future. All the messages read ” fuck you” which seemed to be the only sentiment that people came up with. We had the ceremony in the adjacent alley to Danceteria with Haoui shepherding the festivities. I broke a bottle on the bomb casing! Wow! They dug it up sooner than James Romberger and I expected. Only a bunch of rebel artists would be able to pull this off! 


Van Cook hopes to post some pictures of the actual time capsule internment later. She also notes that this and more art projects of the time will be seen in a documentary called The Brezinski Project which is due out next year.

The former owner of Danceteria, John Argento is trying to get the time capsule back, according to published reports.

“I was hoping the contents survived and I want to get them back because a lot of people ask about it,” Argento said.

That includes the building’s current doorman, who remembers partying at the club as a teenager.

“It would take me back,” Cliff Russell said. “To when I was 19 or 20, I’d probably forget my aches and pains and dwell on the trinkets and things no longer around.”

Van Cook and Romberger are still busy on the comics and art scene. Here they are at Flame Con last year.



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