Harry Koutoukas Flees Endicott

Harry Koutoukas Flees Endicott

Harry Koutoukas likely picked up this flair for the dramatic while growing up outside of Binghamton, New York, in the “Magic City” of Endicott. His family ran a restaurant and entertainment establishment that booked “female impersonators,” though he was forbidden to see those shows when he was an adolescent. Undeterred, Koutoukas snuck in to see the outlandish performers (who were a bit taller than ordinary women, with large hands and an exaggerated sense of femininity). This planted a seed in Harry’s mind that a weirder world was within his reach, and through magazines and movies he discovered Greenwich Village. Ahh, Koutoukas thought, now there’s a place I’d like to go. “By the time Koutoukas came to the Village,” recalled Agosto Machado, “things were shifting. There was a ferment of sexual revolution, the beginnings of a youthquake.” Harry Koutoukas, who lived for fifty years at 87 Christopher Street, was one of many men and women who gravitated from other cities and countries to the Village, a catch-all term that included Greenwich Village, the East Village, and other surrounding neighborhoods.

From Chapter 1 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


87 Christopher Street
87 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014