This weekend I had a last meal at the Market Diner, shuttered now and waiting for the Moinian Group's wrecking machines to flatten it, so yet another soul-murdering, high-rise luxury condo can rise.
Aren't there enough of those already? The place is surrounded by luxury towers. In fact, Moinian has another pair right across the avenue.
From the windows of the Market Diner you can watch "The Sky" rise, wrapped in the slogan: "Live the Sky Life." With 1,175 rental units, The Sky is currently the city's biggest residential tower, literally blotting out the actual sky. And right next to that is Moinian's massive Atelier condo tower. The 13-story tower to rise on Market Diner's grave will make it a trio.
These buildings are here because the city rezoned the far west side as part of the Special Hudson Yards District and the Special Clinton District. They're here because the city government wants them here.
Meanwhile, inside the diner, crowds of people jammed themselves into the vestibule, waiting 20 and 30 minutes for a table. Some had come to say goodbye on this last weekend, but most just loved eating here.
After this irreplaceable piece of the authentic New York is destroyed forever, we'll hear politicians and other development apologists trot out the hideous bullshit lines that "tastes change" and "some small businesses just aren't viable." But we'll know the truth.
The Market Diner was always packed with customers. They closed because the Moinian Group bought them and shuttered them. They closed because City Hall allowed it. Because our government offers no protections for small businesses. They closed because New York is in the midst of a small business apocalypse--and a cultural genocide.
As Robert Sietsema wrote for Eater this weekend: "even with a liberal mayor, nothing is done to stop this sort of cultural and culinary depredation. Isn’t the mix of businesses in a neighborhood important? Do real estate developers have an absolute right to do anything with their properties, no matter how foul?"
Yes, apparently, they do.
The Market Diner was in business since 1962. Frank Sinatra ate there. It was gorgeous. It was unique. I've said it a million times already. For fuck's sake, #SaveNYC. Whatever's left of it.
Last Days of Market Diner
Market Diner Vanishing
Market Diner Renovation