I was walking along Houston yesterday and I noticed a bare space where Billy's Antiques was. In it there was a single coffin with
some bottles of beer on it. I couldn't stop staring, and I instantly felt sad.
No I was not a regular customer, I didn't have a personal relationship
with anyone there, but it was a special place in the city. It would be like the Strand*,
Trash and Vaudville, or Katz's closing down. Places that are unique to the NY that I know.
I'm sure that I'm just one in a long line of New Yorkers that has lamented about the changes in the city.
The way I feel about Billy's turning into a luxury condo is probably the way
many people felt about CBGB turning into a John Varvatos store.
One of the saddest things to me has always been the knowledge that the city won't wait
for you. It will change whether you stay or go. But for someone who can drown in nostalgia, it's a good lesson on letting things go, living in the present, and enjoying what's around.
*Though lets be honest, if the Strand closed I would be inconsolable. Let's hope I never see that day.