Bamn! Automat New York City
It was in late 2006 that I originally saw news from New York that heralded the opening of a restaurant with a 50's era concept of the automat called Bamn!. By 2009 Bamn!, however, was no longer.
I can only assume that the novelty of a giant hot food vending machine with quick eats like cheeseburgers and grilled cheese eventually wore off, but in early 2007 on my first visit to New York I sought out the Bamn! Automat at its St. Marks location.
At a time when the iPhone had just been released, it seemed strange that plugging some coins into a lit up food-slot in the wall would hold any novelty, but it did. Somebody on the other side of that wall was making mini-cheeseburgers and sticking them into the little drawers so that late night NYU drunkards could retrieve them at their own convenience. It was a beautiful thing.
While Bamn! is long gone, I thought it prudent to share these photos from my library. It's not just about the automat itself, but about the place in time. My career was in its infancy at that point and I was in the city filming interviews about the hopes and dreams of millennials. I was wide-eyed and keen, exploring the great city of New York for the first time on what seemed like the greatest work trip ever.
I have been back to the city more times than I can count since, but the strange pink neon glow of the automat is something I still think about.