The ravishing Radosh and his mighty Nexis account today paint for us a Times/Fleet Week retrospective.
The New York Times, today:
The city they [sailors on Fleet Week shore leave] are visiting is ... nothing like the one experienced by the untold thousands of sailors in untold thousands of ships who have come before them over the decades. Once it was strip clubs and bars and tattoo parlors and girls. And while there still may be some of that, sailors who sauntered around Midtown on Memorial Day gave some surprising answers when asked how they experience New York City in the two or three short days they are here. They mentioned frozen cappuccinos, and Off Broadway, and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, and architecture —- specifically, terra cotta facades.
The New York Times, May 28, 2005:
The petty officers were going to disappoint those who think the nation's sailors are a hard-drinking, loutish bunch. In a cab downtown, their discussion focused on their husbands (both Navy men), the latest "Star Wars" movie, Crate and Barrel versus Pottery Barn and that stalwart of conversation —- shoes.
The New York Times, May 27, 1995:
It was barely past noon yesterday and already the three seamen were in a room full of scantily clad, statuesque women.... Mr. Zima and two of his shipmates were eyeing a woman who goes by the name Andromeda. Full-figured, but coolly professional. They found her at one of New York City's finest topless joints — the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.... Mr. Zima and his buddies had already done Wall Street, Chinatown, the Guggenheim Museum ("Everything was upside down," one of them said) and had come to the Metropolitan mostly to check out the medieval armor. There were others at the museum besides Mr. Zima and his friends. Larry Brantley, 38, a chief electrician on the aircraft carrier America, was wandering among the Impressionists... These guys are sailors. Aren't they supposed to be out drinking and ripping up the town?
The New York Times, May 29, 1993:
There were also new-age sailors, the fighting men and women who said they avoid not only strong drink but also high-cholesterol foods. For instance, Vernon L. Black of Pittsburgh, a third-class petty officer on the Kennedy, said he spent much of Thursday browsing through the New York City Public Library.
The New York Times, June 10, 1991
Two officers from the carrier decided to skip the bars and burlesque of Times Square and headed straight for the epicenter of Manhattan sophistication, grabbing ringside seats on the outdoor terrace of Le Relais on Madison Avenue at 63d Street.