jump started I Loved New York.

Happy Birthday, to a degree.

I remember that day. I decided to write. Yes, save the world.  Save New York.

After cruising the Meatpacking Streets, looking for the old spots of latter year, I knew it might be over. It didn’t smell so bad anymore. I didn’t see the butcher hosing down the street.  Not a lot of garbage. Anti-graffiti squad in check. Maybe, it was too clean? Wow, Mayor Bloomberg, the streets are glistening.  Thank you?

I was not living in town anymore and instead staying at the new slick, porn-light Standard Hotel with its glistening glass off the Hudson (welcome peep shows a la cart) and walking a strange new strip of grassy wonderland called the High Line. 69 Gansevoort was the long-forgotten Florent with the best mac and cheese in town (always on tap) and replaced with a filler restaurant.  Breakfast at the Standard cost $40 (no booze). New York was always a pricey town, but come on. Pastis seemed too over easy on my eggs. Someone stole the New York Times I was reading.

Hit the streets.  Hm, those crowds seemed more touristic and too many Vince clothing stores, or perhaps too many pricey tees (not like the old Bonds tees I once found at Barneys).  And, I couldn’t find a great discount book at Biography.  Why?  I always can find a good book. Clearance signage.  Wise decision: Ask bookseller.

Wait, they are closing?

Say what?  (Anger, confusion, rejection, disbelief).

Now I just need to find out, why? (Mumble, mumble: Marc Jacobs is “taking over” the space).   No, no! He’s on the other side of Bleecker in all those other corner shops.You are safe. (Chill out).

Okay, okay… Biography is relocating down the block, in the middle of the street, but no longer at the corner with their corner bargain bin chalked of Woody Allen bios, Paul Auster and JM Coetzee novels at $6.97. That’s my bin.  Plus, you can’t leave when White Horse is still down the street.  Oh, you can’t afford rent?  Hmph. Can’t the neighbors help? Ohhhhh….I get it.  New York is big business now. Bargains are for Chinatown. Tourists pay money. I get it…New York is Disney World? Vacation.

Get it? Got it.  Take yourself out of yourself. Act like one of them.

Yep, a HBO character ate a cupcake on this bench and now commands tour bus and six-hour wrap around line (Well, what a year can do. Yes, a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery now sits without a bus). Progress! Still, my favorite Bleecker wax spot closed.  I still liked your margaritas, Miracle Grill (Bobby couldn’t save you). Yep, another Marc Jacobs (a once fave of mine) has cropped up in another corner spot besides the spot where Biography sat.  Chumley’s still isn’t open, after how long? Another forgotten pint and my favorite two yellow labs.

BRING BACK THAT SAW DUST.

Baby Buddha couldn’t afford rent; the Mother closed wherein a branch bank opened.  RIP, Pink Tea Cup only to be reincarnated (nice one, new owner).  A year later, the historic Fedora lays down picked up by the Freeman’s restaurant bearded folk of the West Village (to his credit, he’s cool, good food, etc).It’s not just my ex-beloved West Village.  All parts of town are straight business (*um, retail) and the way things are rolling in this economy; someone needs to think outside the box.

Uptown: Adios Tavern on the Green.  Cafe Des Artistes is closed and (yet soon) to reopen. Takashimaya, so pretty.

East Village: Xunta, Knife + Fork,  Atomic Passion, movement of vintage in general.  Movin’ down a bit south: Allen & Delancey, see ya.

The Nolita/SoHo report is downtown depressing.  The list is so long and silly.   Adios: Cafe Colonial (to Rag and Bone),  Lyell, Kitchen Club, Sissy, Don Hills (the original gangsta), Label, Zoe, City Girl Cafe and DWR Tools For Living.

The complete invasion and trendification of  outer banks, think Montauk.  That X File monster will be back to get your little pretties and your Gucci loafers too.

Yes, New York is New York is New York.  I’m not naive. I get it.  Change is imminent.  Salinger, gone. George Steinbrenner is gone. Yet, RIPCO keeps throwing up its red signs and curves. For Rent.  For Lease.  It will cost you, still, come get me.

Just today, 47 to 1 (yikes), the NY City Council passed their new skyscraper to smoke (and rival) that of the Empire State (Strikes Back) Building.  How strangely reminiscent of when those tore down the “Old” Penn Station.  Oh well, things change.  I’m Peter Pan and don’t rest easy. Still, I try to fight the good fight.

What’s next?  Only another year can tell.

Thanks for reading.

I’m so grateful,

Kate.

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