On Wednesday, I was out with my friend Cindy, who was visiting from Los Angeles. The only guideline we had was that we wanted to avoid anyplace overrun with St. Patrick's Day Celebrants. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am very proud of my ancestors*, but loathe holidays in which everyone feels it's their duty to get drunk (see also Halloween and New Year's Eve).
We met for tapas and then went for Mexican food, only to discover that my go-to place for sloppy Mexican food, Maryanne's on Second Avenue, was closed, or rather "seized" due to non=payment of taxes. Peering through the window, Cindy said "It looks like it didn't happen that long ago. There are still napkins on the tables."
However, all I could think was "one more regular (or semi-regular) haunt is now gone." Not to be self-pitying, because I know the loss of a favored spot is nothing compared to the loss of a job suffered by those who work at such places when they close, but so many places are closing that I haven't had time to find new places yet. I've kvetched before (did you know the "k" was silent?) on this website about Telephone Bar closing. Last fall PlanEat Thai in my neighborhood closed, and that was a restaurant that I thought was going to last forever.
Is this what Alzherimer's is like? The landscape slowly changing or shifting around you, but you just react in befuddlement? I know the cliche is that "in New York, the only constant is change" but is it so much to expect a bar or restaurant to stick around for a while? It's not as profound, but is what I'm feeling a fraction of what my grandparents, social butterflies that they were, experienced when their friends began dying?
Cindy and I got food somewhere else but I was pursued by the sense that my New York was slowly shrinking. Donde est last straw? When is it no longer a city I recognize? Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. I walked past Maryanne's tonight and the restaurant was not only open but full of people. I stopped in and asked the hostess what had happened. "Oh," she laughed "that was all a big misunderstanding."
* re: How The Irish Saved Civilzation: you're welcome. Is it so much to expect a "thank you" every once in a while? I still don't think we, or rather I, have received proper due for that. Sheesh.