The stars have lost their glitter…

I was just talking to friends last night over dinner about how much the New York we loved was dying when we lived there, how that inspired my short film, how the city isn’t even capable of acknowledging its own declining culture and then someone I know told me today that the Ziegfeld Theatre, late 20th century New York movie history at its most luxurious, is closing. To which I can only sigh in sadness.
Again, another movie venue that can’t pay its rent in Manhattan. I’d say “end of an era”, but the sad truth is that era died a long time ago. As I did last night with these friends, I continue to remind Parisians who think Paris has lost too much of what it once was that it’s all perspective and that old Paris is very much alive and well, albeit a bit beaten up in places. Old New York has practically vanished, and that truly is an enormous shame.
As is often the case, Ira Gershwin can be counted on for having the best words for most situations:
“The night is bitter,
The stars have lost their glitter”

Incidentally… So long, Crumbs


This article is why so many people like me get so bothered by fad, chain food places that descend like plagues on neighbourhoods in cities like New York, causing local business to close and completely erasing parts of city streets. It’s because when the fad dies and the cupcake place, or the frozen yogurt place, or the infantile candy shop for adults, or the criminally overpriced hamburger joint eventually close as they invariably do, the incessant and gluttonous need to have a location every ten blocks means neighbourhoods that once were… well… neighbourhoods, now have massive spaces that are empty and impossibly expensive to rent even for the kinds of high end chains that create them. And the bodegas and laundromats and diners and family restaurants and bars and even hospitals they replaced are gone forever because what people don’t think when they delete a bar or a diner is that neighbourhood staples are almost impossible to recreate or even move to another location. When a local business has a story, and is a meeting point for locals, and has spent time developing a relationship with its environment, you can’t just take the roots and replant them in less expensive soil in another neighbourhood. The roots are severed and are often impossible to repair.

So, good riddance, Crumbs. And thank you for the twenty or so locations in and around New York that you’ve now left with giant unrentable holes where a part of a neighbourhood once stood.