The famed Roseland Ballroom closes tonight. Like Captain America, I am sad.
I worked next to Roseland for almost 10 years. Entertainment Weekly used to be headquartered next door. I’ve walked past those doors — both the front, and the back, on 54th — more times than I can count. I’ve tiptoed through the “kids” waiting out for a show to start, I’ve dodged thrown beer bottles from post-concert fights, I’ve peeked inside to see who was on stage.
I’ve only been inside twice: Once, to see Fiona Apple’s now-legendary show in which she melted down halfway through her set and stormed off, and again, when EW threw a 10th anniversary party.
It was a part of my Manhattan, the one I remember as a young man, stalking these streets, walking to and from the places that would define me. My job, my friends, the subway that led me home.
A thing like Roseland is always supposed to be there, an anchor for memories that, as we age, constantly threaten to slip.
And then it isn’t.
"I’ve lost so much more than can ever be regained."
I feel you, Steve.
Captain America’s Roseland Ballroom, 1956-2014.
Roseland closes tonight.
From Captain America #258, June 1981
Caption: On 52nd Street in Manhattan, between Broadway and 8th Avenue, stands one of New York’s celebrated landmarks—a dance hall called Roseland. In this age of new wave, rock ‘n’ roll and disco, it’s a place where a couple can do a slow, romantic shuffle to the music of a big band. And among tonight’s couples are Steve Rogers (perhaps more widely known as Captain America) and his downstairs neighbor Bernadette Rosenthal.
"Strange. I was last here almost forty years ago. It was a victory bonds party. So long ago, yet for me it seems like only yesterday. I’m still young, thanks to the years I spent in suspended animation after the war—but the WAC I danced with should be in her 60s. With children and grandchildren. I’ve seen so much in my life—and yet I’ve lost so much more that can never be regained."
Poor Captain America, fated to outlive everything he’s ever loved.