Almost any restaurant is better than, say, Alan Greenspan at analyzing the economy. After the 1987 crash, eateries in
We’re seeing Depression — not Recession — specials in restaurant windows again, to keep tables full and barstools warm. Corporate Christmas parties, already trimmed or deleted from media companies years ago, are looking awfully pot-luck for everyone this season.
So, if we want to lament our losses at home tonight with a DVD and pizza, one half of that has become easier: at least on
No question that
A few months ago, a narrow storefront called The World Famous 2 Bros. Pizza opened at 32 St. Marks, with a sign that electrified the locals: “Grand Opening Special Pizza Slice $1.00.” Almost every day, from noon till who knows when, lines wind out into the gutter.
New Yorkers haven’t been able to get dollar street food for ages. The fast-food 99-cent deals don’t count. They’re cynical, national clones that scream “less than.”
Even a Gray’s Papaya hot dog is now $1.50, and Gray’s classic Recession Special, two garlicky links plus a kiddie-pap drink, this year leapt from $3.50 to $4.45. Hey brother, can you spare a fin?
Then, just a few weeks back, the always empty pizza parlor on the northwest corner of St. Marks and Second, the one that followed the much-hated Gap, taped a pathetic scrawled sign on its door: “Reg Slice $1, $1.” Bigger place, cleaner, more light — but few takers.
One afternoon I budgeted in a taste-comparison lunch. Both are flat Neapolitan slices. The 2 Bros. came right from the no-frills oven, crisp rim-puff, drooping body, oily surface (I use a paper napkin to blot calories), with an inoffensive sweet-tomato flavor. It’s a lot like the 35-cent slice I grew up with at New Park Pizza in Howard Beach,
I’m a writer. I like spending a buck for lunch. Cool
It could easily be that Netflix has more titles, and I know of video boutiques across the country with cult sections as personal as a face. But dirty, makeshift Kim’s was a video miracle. It started in Youngman Kim’s dry cleaning shop on Avenue A in 1987 and moved to
By director! Kim’s Video was Andy Sarris (who had worked nearby, at the Voice) to Blockbuster’s Pauline Kael. Each shelf was a crash course in national, personal cinematic history. No matter that quality took a back seat to rarity. Why, there’s that TCM icon again. Why is this British bonbon dubbed in Romanian? Does he pay his grandmother to tape these off her rabbit-ear TV? Bad Mr. Kim.
Kim branches opened and closed, but the move to a spacious site at
Who went just to rent The Last of the Mohicans?
A shiny remnant of Kim’s has just opened on First Avenue between St. Marks Place and East 7th Street, in the site of the just gutted and much mourned Kurowycky (cur-VITZ-kee) Meat Products, properly famous for its succulent dry-cured, basement-smoked Ukrainian ham. (It’s probably wise at this point to squelch any comparison between Kurowycky’s and the St. Marks Baths.) But there’s only purchases here, no rentals, and the indefatigable owner is reportedly looking to donate his 55,000 video examples en masse and undivided, with a stipulation that paid-up Kim’s members will have access. Yeah, sure.
Leon Trotsky and later W.H. Auden lived around the corner from the new Kim’s, at 77 St. Marks Place. After Auden died, in
That, or a slice. It’s your choice.
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