• The Tales of Times Square Archive
  • The Tales of Times Square Archive
  • The Tales of Times Square Archive
  • The Tales of Times Square Archive
  • The Tales of Times Square Archive
  • The Tales of Times Square Archive
  • The Tales of Times Square Archive

The Tales of Times Square Archive


Josh Alan Friedman: Tales of Times Square Archive, 1950s–2008

In 1976, twenty-year old Josh Alan Friedman began covering Times Square for Screw, a weekly underground newspaper in New York with a run of 1,800 issues that, from 1968 to 2002, reviewed porn movies, peep shows, erotic massage parlors, brothels, escorts and other offerings of the adult entertainment industry. Founded by Al Goldstein and Jim Buckley, Screw was piled high alongside the New York Post and Daily News at every newsstand in New York. Its offices were ground central for dozens of underground cartoonists, editors, and writers who learned their craft then branched out into the mainstream. Friedman took on assignments that no other writer would touch, but in the nooks and crannies of this depravity, he found beauty: an irreplaceable urban ecosystem where a crude yet culturally distinct form show business was mastered. All gone in the wake of Disney-fication, Friedman documented his ten-year New York odyssey in three books—the landmark Tales of Times Square, still in print since 1986; When Sex Was Dirty; and I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life, which he co-wrote with Goldstein, and has now been optioned by a major director.

Equally important, Friedman’s odyssey is also documented here, which features photographs, correspondence, and audio interviews with many of the strippers, smut merchants, and eccentric denizens that made up the Times Square of that era. There are also manuscripts of his articles for Screw, and printed materials that capture Times Square and the era in all its vulgar glory.

The archive spans from the 1950s to 2008 and measures 2.5 linear feet. Following are some highlights from the collection; please contact us for a full catalog.

Archive Highlights

Photographs, 1950s–1998

Includes fifty-one original Al Goldstein photographs (1950s–1998); "Uncle" Lou Amber's inscribed scrapbook of strippers; eighty-two original Annie Sprinkle slides; original Friedman images; photographs of strippers Long Jean Silver, Kristina Fox, and Candy Staton.

Correspondence, 1977–1985

198 pieces of correspondence, mostly autograph letters and some typescript letters. 1977–1986. Almost all addressed to Friedman, with a few addressed to Goldstein; many are in response to Friedman’s “Naked City” column. Among those who write to Friedman are Terry Southern, Larry Levenson (owner of Plato's Retreat), Kristina Fox, Raven de la Croix, Candy Samples, Lisa Be, and former Three Stooges member Joe Besser. 

Manuscripts and Typescripts, 1976–1985

Includes numerous drafts of Tales of Times Square, A Walking Tour of Times Square, articles for Screw, and sketch scripts for Midnight Blue.

Audio Recordings, 1979–1987

Includes taped interviews with Tara Alexander, Larry Levenson, Al Kronish, Jay Harwell, Charles Rubenstein, Roger Kirschner, boxer Izzy Grove, and strippers Candy Staton and Long Jean Silver. 

Books, Clippings, and Other Printed Materials, 1969–2008

Includes Screw editorial minutes and style sheets; porn star flyers and publicity material; massage parlor/escort business cards; Plato's Retreat newsletters; advertisements for Show World Center; press kits; limited edition Annie Sprinkle publications; Friedman books; Screw stationery; newspaper and magazine clippings; and contracts.