Where Bette Midler Won Fame

William Earle Dodge Stokes, the possibly deranged genius behind the Ansonia Hotel, had Turkish baths installed in the basement. Fateful. In 1968 Steve Ostrow launched a business here catering to gay men, a bathhouse called the Continental. This was one of the starting points of disco and where #BetteMidler and #BarryManilow got their starts. Eventually, Ostrow closed his business. From 1977 to 1980 the notorious swingers sex club Plato’s Retreat operated here. I’ve no idea what goes on in the baths today.

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