Sometimes the vanishings get into my dreams. Some months ago I dreamed I was walking past the Korean deli on 14th and 8th when I saw workers hauling out equipment.
"Are you closing?" I asked. Yes, a woman told me, empty coffee pots in her hands. "What's coming here?"
"A big store," she said, "you'll never guess."
"Brooks Brothers?" I asked. Nope. "Marc Jacobs?" Nope.
I begged her to tell me. "WalMart," she said. WalMart.
Recently, news came out that WalMart was "sniffing around Union Square," and now they're roaming around Ladies' Mile.
As for that corner of 14th and 8th--where the Korean deli, a bodega, and a liquor store all sit in the shadow of One Jackson Square--I'm still waiting for the inevitable. I checked in with someone who works in one of the businesses and he said the owner has turned down offers of up to $45 million for the whole lot. But on one sunny morning, I overheard two people talking about it, apparently a broker and a buyer.
She aimed her red-lacquered fingernails at the site and said, "It's good to have two floors."