Sunday, February 8, 2009

New York on the Move

When Diners Pick Up Stakes, and Vintage New York Is Lost

It's not just New Yorkers who are leaving town -- the city itself is literally being exported.

Remember the Moondance Diner? It used to be on 6th Avenue and Grand Street until last year it was sold off and hauled out to La Barge, Wyoming (I actually blogged extensively extensively about this in 2007).

Now another diner, the Cheyenne on Ninth Avenue and 33rd street, is moving to Alabama! And the same folks who are buying and moving it now want to buy a closed movie theater in Queens! On top of that, the guy who used to run the now defunct Kim's Video Stores has sold off his entire collection to someone in Sicily. And that's not the end of it.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. London Bridge was torn down and re-assembled in Arizona. The Cloisters here in NYC are made up of several old cathedrals and buildings from France. The Temple of Dendur at the Met was excavated in Egypt and rebuilt here. And if art collections, furniture, and other precious assets can be moved from place to place, why not real estate? So this is really nothing new.

I guess we can look at all of this as a kind of cultural exchange. If NYC has nothing else, its got a great culture. If people around the country and around the world want a piece of it, and can pay for it, who 's to blame them? But like our middle class, let's just try to preserve as much of it here as we can so that we continue to have a great culture. Let's hope it's not all for sale.

1 comment:

  1. Nice mention of these both in an article in today's New York Times (or was it yesterday?). Nice blog goin here...


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