Thursday, April 10, 2008

Adios, Cheyenne

I was at the Javits Center this weekend way over on the westside.   On the way home I got hungry and decided to hit up this ancient, really cute railroad diner nearby -- The Cheyenne Diner, on 9th avenue and 33rd street.  

I went in and it was packed, people were taking pictures, and a whole lot of hoopla for a forgotten, 70 year old diner.  It turned out to be the very last day the Cheyenne Diner was open.  

It is going to be replaced with a 9 story condo building. 

The Cheyenne Diner: gone the way of the Navaho.

As irony would have it, change is our only constant.  Nowhere in the world is this better understood than in New York City: a city with no sentimentality.  Walking the city streets you come face to face with somewhere, someplace, but it's gone.  Just....vanished.  And in a couple years, you forget what used to be there.  You rack your brain but you just can't remember: What once stood on that corner?  It's now a 9 story condo building!

Life has no sentimentality.  What evidence is left of our existence (no matter how sparkling) after we are gone?  We all want to live forever, to be remarkable and leave something behind, but who will remember who we were or what we stood for once we are inevitably replaced?  

Which forces me wonder: is this why people have children? 


Anonymous said...

You will be remembered and valued long after your death. People will be able to see your films and feel better about themselves. Your book, "You Can Run" will also be read for many generations to come.

Your friend Jimmy

Bob said...

Hi Jesse,

I ate there once. I don't remember what I ate, but I remember the day.

The memories last a while after death even in New York. I heard stories from my mother's mother about the General Slocum fire. She heard it from her mother who saw it.

You did a post in March called the meaning of life. That's it.

p.s. Don't read The World Without Us if the impermanence gets you down.



damedaxx said...

It's the second most thing that I hate about New York. The transience.

People move here and they move away. Stores open and close. Roxy, Twilo, XL. Big Cup loses its lease to a nonsensical spa selling knick knacks. My dry cleaners on West 23rd street lost its lease last month and lies vacant.

Oh, the thing I hate most is the rats who own the sidewalks after Midnight.

Michael said...

We all want to live forever, to be remarkable and leave something behind.......

Not really. Fuck a legacy. Our entire recorded history is a fucking blip. We're specks. Embrace it. Embrace it by doing something great or small every day. Something good. Something human. Then start again.

Jesus. Am I drunk?

MNM said...

Sentimentality is mostly an old people disease. Also, it's a known precursor to alzheimer. Good luck, hope you don't have too much sentimentality.

Mark in DE said...

This is why we should write blogs! So our sparkling existance isn't forgotten when we've been replaced by a 9 story condo bldg.

Mark :-)