New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Automat Redux

I discovered Bamn! last night at 37 St. Marks Place in the East Village - the return of the automat to NYC. The glow of the pink light and its techy decor gave the place a Japanese flavor. The automat, originally a German concept, was introduced to the United States by Horn and Hardart of Philadelphia in 1902 and was then introduced to NYC in 1912. Food is served via a coin-operated vending machine with compartments for the different selections. Read about them here. At their peak in the 1950s, there were hundreds of automats. Horn and Hardart alone had 180. The last (Horn and Hardart at 42nd Street) closed in 1991. There were a number of reasons for their demise - the rise of fast food as well as inflation, which made the food too expensive to be purchased conveniently with coins (machines for bills were not common in the 1960s-70s). Bamn! was conceived by Robert Kwak, David Leong and Nobu Nguyen, who were inspired by modern automats they saw in Amsterdam. Launched on 8/29/06, it appears to be doing well - the selections (mostly finger food) are priced between $1 - $3. They also serve thick-cut Belgian fries and soft-serve green tea ice cream. And, appropriately for NYC, it's open 24/7...

11 comments:

dutchie said...

Wow, fantastic light.
We've had these automats for some yrs and they're quite popular too!
Enjoy your snack!

Pierre said...

Great purple light! And I like this round shape too...

Brian said...

Hope you checked out the other photos - had a hard time deciding which was more interesting.
Brian

Brian said...
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Ruth said...

I like the photo you chose, Brian. How fun! And I love the name "Bamn" -- brilliant. Man, this purple light is really energizing my 7th chakra! :)

Lisi said...

that is very very cool...and your photo is great too

Curly said...

Great purple colour and light. Is the food cold, or can it be heated too?

Curly's Photoshop

Gail's Man said...

The ultimate in fast food.

Neorelix said...

Fantastic picture, nice.

Brian said...

Most of the food is hot. And fresh - supposedly they throw it out if in sits longer than 15 minutes.
Brian

Anonymous said...

wow! there's so many kinds of food to choose from! is it tasty?