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NYC diners in the 90s

From photographer Greg Alessandrini, a collection of photos of diners in New York City taken in the 1990s. I was pleased to see a shot of Jones Diner, which I ate at several months before moving to NYC:

Jones Diner

It closed shortly before we moved and I never got to eat there again. At the time, word was some condos were being built on the site, but it took ten years for construction to start. What a waste.

BTW, the rest of Alessandrini’s site is well worth a look…hundreds and possibly thousands of photographs of NYC from the 80s and 90s. (via @UnlikelyWorlds)

Jones Diner

Anil has some thoughts about Jones Diner, my favorite NY restaurant (having been to a total of about four), and points to a Village Voice article about its possible closure.

Meg and I saw a “don’t close us down” petition on the counter when we stopped in last week, but I didn’t know the story behind it until I read the article. I hope it doesn’t get shut down. Jones Diner is part of that neighborhood’s culture and history. Cities need places like that…they add diversity, character, culture, and history to the neighborhoods in which they are located.

Andrew Glassberg, one of the folks trying to build an upscale modern diner in place of Jones Diner, asserts “we are all about eggs and burgers [and we] want that classic diner feel”. He’s missing the point; it’s not just about the type of food or some carefully crafted & marketed “classic diner feel”, it’s a lot more than that. When we were there the other day, about five minutes after we had ordered, a man walked in with hellos to both men working behind the counter, obviously a regular. Four minutes after that, way before we got our food, the man dug into a turkey dinner which he hadn’t ordered, but which they knew he wanted anyway. That’s just a taste of what places like Jones Diner give you in the context of a neighborhood that a modern diner just can’t.