//one of New York's best known diners, The Empire Diner, has closed its doors.
Mere days before the events of September 11th, I visited New York City for the first time. It was just me and my best friend at the time, underage and mostly penniless, in search of the spirit of old New York. One of the most memorable stops was right here, at the iconic Empire Diner, to have their famous mashed potatoes. In the years that followed, I returned to this iconic spot time and time again with friends, family, lovers and often on my own. No trip was complete without a visit.
Yesterday, Steph T and I walked across Manhattan in the muggy 35C heat just to see that gleaming chrome. From blocks away though, I could already tell what was coming. Brown kraft paper lined all the windows and the vanished patio sat eerily silent in the heat of the afternoon. The waitress next door explained what she knew of the circumstances and we nodded as if we'd heard it before. Like so many other one-story diners that once sparkled across this city, it seemed doomed to vanish in favour of high-profit high-rises.