Monday, July 16, 2012

5th Anniversary

As of yesterday, this blog is 5 years old. It's a small milestone, I suppose. Half a decade. Old enough to go to kindergarten. But it feels like 50 when I think of all the places that have vanished in just 5 years.



In 2007, when I started the blog, we lost Gertel's bakery, the Moondance diner, Chumley's, the Playpen, and many more. The year 2008 saw Florent fall, along with the Minetta tavern, Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium, Eddie Boros' Tower of Toys, and more. In 2009, Joe Jr's diner went, Love Saves the Day vanished, and we said goodbye to the Amato Opera House (and more). 2010 took away Fedora, Gino, and Carmine's at the Seaport--and, again, more. In 2011, we lost Mars Bar and saw the Chelsea Hotel shutter to guests, bookshops vanished, and so did Coney Island (and more).

In 2012, the vanishings keep vanishing. And they show no sign of stopping. It's depressing and disempowering. Every year when this anniversary rolls around, I think about ending the blog. I can't do it forever and don't want to. Sometimes it feels important, and other times utterly futile. Blogging hasn't stopped any wrecking balls.

Some changes in my life are making it harder to keep up the blog, but I'm not quite ready to stop just yet. I like being connected to a community of passionate people who give a shit about the city. So thank you for that connection, for your comments and tips, for all your support over the past 5 years. You are the city. And, maybe, if we can outlast the bastards, someday we can build something vital out of the rubble.

21 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Thank you for continuing to inform and inspire.

Ms. said...

Happy FIVE to you Jeremiah. Maybe when you turn Six you might think about becoming a permanent part of the History of New York City. While they continue paving paradise, perhaps "Vanishing" could enter the larger archives rent free, to be shared until the Landlords decide to turn that building into luxury rentals, and banish the collections to "the cloud"--
http://www.mcny.org/exhibitions/current/Activist-New-York.html

marjorie said...

Happy blogoversary. Thanks so much for being such an important voice for our city and neighborhood.

JAZ said...

Happy 5th! I know it's a soul sucking, no-win position you have placed yourself in, but this blog is one of the best things to happen for a lot of us; you let us vent, curse, cry, and just yell about what we are losing, while at the same time getting the comfort of knowing we're not alone, and having this blog as a great record keeping of it all. These places that we are losing can never really die because this site will not allow them to be forgotten. In a way, it's the ultimate Fuck You to this evil administration, and in that way it embodies the rebellious spirit that the real New York was all about.

No words I could come up with can ever thank you enough for being here.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thank you all. JAZ, you're making me verklempt.

glamma said...

Thank you for the vital life force to provide to the undead.......
Thank you for all that you do!

esquared™ said...

What JAZ said [echoooooo....oooo...ooo..oo.o]

Did I ever mention how I discovered this blog? I went upstate for grad school/work from 2004-2006, and when I returned in '07, I was astounded with the changes -- the vanished joints, the rising condos, the people's attitudes (they had become [more]rude, obnoxious, and apathetic. People were literally dancing in the streets (had seen a woman tap dancing in the streets w/o a walkman or an iPod while staring at the sun), because of probably that irrational exuberance of the housing boom. I tried to explain these to people and they had no idea what I was talking about, telling me that it was always like this and that, etc. I guess when you're in the center of the gentrification vortex, you can't really see what's going on.

Anyway, I wanted to regain some sense of familiarity and respite and went to B&N at Astor Place and that's when I saw it closed. The few people that I know that remained in the EV/NYC didn't also know that it closed. And that's when I Googled the closing of Astor B&N and discovered this blog. And as JAZ said, I found solace here that I wasn't alone with that feeling of saudade. And I've been a troll ever since.

As for today's New York, it ain't my New York no more. Very few places remain that have a soul and character. Soon, people would be mourning, should or when they vanish, the losses of Momofoku, Prune, DBGB, IHOP, Starbucks, etc. And that's their New York, which they can blog in the next 5yrs. Doesn't NYC just turn you inside out?

And the thing about being a native New Yorker is that I have no New York to run away to.
Apologies for the long-winded comment -- tl;dr. Thank you, nonetheless.

John K said...

Happy birthday, and please don't quit the blog yet. Your documentation is important for long-time New Yorkers and new residents, and for everyone who's interested in and cares about New York City, wherever she or he lives.

Marty Wombacher said...

Happy 5th anniversary! I know it's not easy, but you've done great work documenting and providing much needed information about New York. Cheers!

Goggla said...

Wow, look at what this 5 year old has accomplished!

Thank you so much for keeping this record of a beloved city in transition. In time, I think this site will prove to be an absolute treasure and resource for anyone interested in the life (and death) of the city.

I know it's often depressing to read, and more depressing for you to write, but I don't know how I would get through a day without dropping in here.

Ed said...

I second esquared comments.

I had the same experience, having had to leave New York for months at a time throughout the 00s and then come back. For me the changes were really visible, disconcerting, and obvious. But people living through them had no idea what I was talking about. Its really great to have a place where everything is laid out this well.

Because I've been out of the city as often as I have, I've realized that New York is just getting the same crap the rest of the country has been getting, sometimes a little more crap, sometimes a little less. So I'm not sure if there is anyplace to run to.

Brendan said...

Happy anniversary. My sometimes contrarian comments notwithstanding, this blog has been a daily read for me since I discovered it. Lots of people talk about what's happening to the city but I don't think anyone else is showing it the way you are. Don't quit. The bad guys will lose in the end.

Anonymous said...

By way of coincidence, July 15, 1992, was the day I moved to New York. On Sunday, I walked around the neighborhood I moved to -- 7th St and 2nd Ave. -- and remembered how I lunched at Dojo on St. Mark's (gone), then had dinner at Little Poland on 1st Ave (gone, gone), drank at Holiday Cocktail Lounge with friends (gone, gone, gone) and stayed up all night, walking the streets of the then-vibrant East Village and feeling the energy. So much of it isn't there, but this great blog helps me keep some of that alive in me. Thanks.

Katrink said...

Congratulations on five years. Please keep on doing what you're doing. It helps keep all of us sane.

Michael Simmons said...

Thank you Jeremiah. The ancestors and future New Yorkers -- as well as those of us stuck in The Twenty-Worst Century -- appreciate everything you've done.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Thanks Jeremiah. Your blog is an essential part of the day, & I don't know anyone else recording the changes & losses with such care & indignation. And, of course, beautifully written.

randall said...

Congratulations on a bittersweet milestone. I appreciate you writing about a world that seems to be fading more and more each day.

JHullinger said...

It saddens me also to see the loss of these landmarks but I wonder if its just part of the age old process of New York reinventing itself? Its hard to loose these pieces of history but maybe its the cost of the city's next incarnation? So many places I love have opened their doors in the past ten years. With them have come Chipotle, Starbucks and Duane Reed which are of course very bland but New Yorkers of the 50s probably thought the same of automats and five and dimes stores which today we would say were unique.
New York would be a much less marvelous place if it stayed the same for the rest of time. The key is to strike a balance. How do we do that I don't know. Maybe we are.

Kate said...

Thanks for maintaining this blog. I feel like I learn a little bit more about NYC history each time I visit. I'm a transplant (I got here a little over 6 years ago) but I feel that it's valuable to understand this city as much as possible. So for example when I'm excited about a new restaurant I understand what it has replaced, and the implications of its being here.

AAHM said...

"Blogging hasn't stopped any wrecking balls."

No, it hasn't but this blog has brought us pause, to stop and think. Something that the city planners obviously haven't realized. Thanks for helping us keep it all in perspective, and real.

laura said...

jeremiah, even if you do the blog one day per week, keep it as long as you can. (& an occasional surprise if the mood hits). i found you 7/10 thru the "new york times". the edward hooper mystery, the diner in the triangle building. after reading it, i said- "no one else except me would put this amount of effort into something like this". the name jeremiah biblical, the color sepia old world easy on the eyes, the simplicity of design, the option to see older posts (2 yrs of catching up), & the option of re opening a discussion from several years back. theres nothing like it. if anything you will be a great historian. keep the blog, we need it.