What's going on with Christine's Polish restaurant in the East Village?
A reader wrote in to say: "Christine's, at 208 First Avenue, closed recently. My friends and I ate there the very first day it opened back in the long-ago summer of 1982, and I can still clearly remember how the addition of just a new Polish coffee shop to what was then a really hardcore neighborhood could bring about such a sense of euphoria and excitement. (Little did we know what lurked ahead.) And now it's gone, leaving only Neptune (formerly KK's) on that stretch of upper First to carry the pierogi and blintzes torch."
But is Christine's shuttered for good? I went for breakfast at Neptune's and the waitress told me it's been "closed, like, forever." How long? "About two weeks," she clarified.
A photo on flickr shows it gated in mid-September with signs reading, "Closed for Renovations." But those signs are gone now, the place is empty and kind of trashed, with no sign of renovations in progress. So what's the story? Have we lost, along with Teresa's, one of the last of our Polish coffee shops?
From Allen Ginsberg's "Charnel Ground":
...Meanwhile the upstairs meth head shot cocaine & yowled up
East 12th Street, kicked out of Christine’s Eatery till police cornered
him, ‘top a hot iron steamhole
near Stuyvesant Town Avenue A telephone booth calling his deaf
mother – sirens speed the way to Bellevue –
past whispering grass crack salesman jittering in circles on East 10th
southwest corner where art yuppies come out of the overpriced Japanese
Sushi Bar -- & they poured salt into potato soup heart failure
vats at KK’s Polish restaurant...