Monday, November 28, 2016

The Lyric to Tivoli

Reader Pat lets us know:

"a new diner finally replaced the old Lyric," in Gramercy. "Don't know much else, I only used to get breakfast in the Lyric, so not sure how the prices compare. Anyway, it is a diner, the new Tivoli."

The Lyric vanished, then returned, then vanished again last spring. This summer, DNA reported that Gus Kassimis, owner of the Gemini Diner on East 35th, planned to open the Tivoli. He calls it a "traditional diner with newer flair." Score one for Greek diners. And just in time, too.

Yesterday, George Blecher at the Times published an evocative piece about the city's vanishing diner culture:

"Losing New York diner culture would probably be a watershed in the city’s history. How will New Yorkers get along without these antidotes to urban loneliness?"

“The coffee shop orients us here, in this city and not another,” Jeremiah Moss, of the blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, said. “If we are regulars, we become known, connected, to a network of people who remain over the span of years, even decades. In the anonymous city, these ties can be lifesavers, especially for the elderly, the poor, the marginal, but also for all of us. Without them, the city becomes evermore fragmented, disorienting and unrecognizable.”


James said...

Well, the coffee shop (or diner) is one of the staples of the New York we used to think we knew. Before that it was the cafeteria. Now it is the corporate deli where one doesn't even deserve table service. My problem is that while diners (or coffee shops) persist, they often cost as much as regular restaurants to patronize. The bellwether cheeseburger deluxe now costs $10 ~ $15, pre-tip, at many venerable establishments. When I arrived in this city, $5.95 was already slightly outside of my budget. We've even become inured to a coffee that costs $2 in coffee shops - albeit given that the bottomless cup survives. Yet - at a Chock Full'O Nuts counter in 1985 the single-serve coffee was 45¢ (and very good). At the Horn & Hardart you could get a coffee for 35¢. Currently, McDonald's sells a dollar coffee (at any size) - one of the notable supposed loss leaders in the current corporate scene. And yet, McDonald's still makes loads of money on that cup. I usually take my business out into the street where food carts still offer a semblance of value. My local diner (way Uptown), while familiar and welcoming, is becoming too expensive to visit with any regularity, and I'm a bit sad about it.

Ms. said...

Too true...but the fact remains that the prices do climb with the neighborhood transformations and so slowly but surely the ordinary every day folks get squeezed out. This, but the way is my neighborhood (what's left of it is scant) since 1969 and I miss the connections and community of the used to be but is no more.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Diners were such a huge part of my life here in the city...the Cheyenne was my favorite, but I think I tried them all. At least once a week, I'd take my book to a booth and enjoy an omelet. It was a ritual - a place where I could be alone or socialize, plan the day, catch up on news, enjoy the view, and generally feel part of the world.

The loss of the Stage really broke my heart. Since then, that happy part of my soul is gone, as it's gone from the city.

I recommend the Square Diner on Varick and Leonard Streets. You can still find that old homey feeling there.

bobby cormier said...

yes. i once lived across the street from the cheyenne in the early '80s. when i lived at sloane house, which were not luxury condos, but dorms for SVA, FIT & other schools. it was called the market diner then.

Steve said...

One more diner bit the dust just this past weekend - Neptune Polish restaurant on First Ave between 11th & 12th. Open since 2001, but preceded by KK Polish restaurant in the same location since sometime in the late 80's or early 90's. Great, classic East Village place, with a really nice back garden. Amazing borscht, great pirogies, loved their breakfasts and the breaded chicken cutlet and the roast chicken and the mushroom barley soup and blintzes and meat loaf and fried fish and . . . and . . . and . . .