In 1972, what used to be Nick’s was Your Father’s Mustache — peanut shells, sawdust on the floor, banjo bands, Sunday afternoon jam sessions.  Now, that same spot is a Gourmet Garage . . . packaged sandwiches, Brie, crackers, olives, canned tuna, leaf tea.

As much as I appreciate upscale grocery stores, I think the descent from Nick’s to Gourmet Garage can be traced in a straight downward-pointing vertical line.

NICK's 1948

Somehow I doubt that anyone will walk past that square footage on Seventh Avenue South fifty years from now and say, wistfully, “You know, when I was young, this was a Gourmet Garage.  A great cheese department.”

May your happiness increase.

5 responses to “GONE, DONE, OVER, FINISHED: 12/27/48

  1. Pingback: chewbone – GONE, DONE, OVER, FINISHED: 12/27/48

  2. Yes, you’re absolutely right – and what a treat to read some good old-fashioned and unrepentant pessimism on your blog! (insert smiley-faced emoticon here). I would only add what has repeatedly struck me over the past couple of decades: that many of the outwardly visible displays of economic growth and prosperity in our cities (our glistening and proud urban “whitening”) are simply new ways of selling a product which will wind up, just a few short hours later, as excrement in the end. Our cities are no longer havens for culture and hotbeds of artistic foment. The fact is there are expansive populations in our expensive cities who regard it as a necessity, indeed a right, to have vast stores of disposable income at the ready, so that when they pause from buying their shiny gadgets they are then able to fill their gullets with some new and exotic treat. In a perfect world these rapacious consumptive activities would not go to waste, but sadly in our fast-paced modern world – and no thanks to modern plumbing – these potentially beneficial byproducts of economic growth never wind up serving a greater good, as they so easily could. This is why I’m starting a business of producing hand-hewn, artisanal, and fully organic compost from human waste. My partners and I are scouting locations near Smith St in Brooklyn (Cobble/Boerum Hill’s restaurant row) and are hoping to open by early 2014. We intend to provide a relaxed and convivial environment with comfortable reclining chairs and couches, gentle exercise for those who wish (stationary bikes, deep knee bends), herbal teas and digestivos from around the world, and attendants familiar with metabolic massage and at least a tenth grader’s knowledge of organic chemistry. In the end it is our hope that each customer’s experience should lead to a satisfying and enriching deposit in one of several composting mixtures, each intended for specific results; high nitrogen for vegetable gardens; high magnesium for roses, etc. Each individual’s experience is meant to be unique to his/her fertilizing needs, body chemistry, and earlier dining experience, and after 10 visits the client is welcome to collect his/her fully composted fertilizer – every shot glass full counts. We believe that the best way to “green up” is by first “browning down”, and to that end we will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund our first Composteria. Look for us on Kickstarter under “Vade Retro Me Satana”.

  3. Sounds like a Swift plan! May the farce be with you, Matt . . .

  4. for further elucidation of this concept, please refer to the “Humanure Handbook” (http://humanurehandbook.com/contents.html).

    and can you imagine jam sessions featuring ‘the leading jazz musicians available’? With no additional federal tax added?


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