31 October 2006

Time Machine at 60th and Lex

In my recent visits to Le Veau d'Or and Gino's, I noticed there's a bit of a time warp around the vicinity of 60th Street and Lexington Avenue. One would think this busy crossroads of commerce would have steamrolled flat all signs of the past long ago. But the opposite is true. For about a hundred-year radius around the crossing of E. 60th and Lex, a Lady Who Lunches could be transported in time from 1955 to today, stand at the intersection's southwest corner, and recognize plenty of landmarks.

"There's Le Veau d'Or, just where I remember it. I wonder if Robert is still there? And, around the corner, Gino's is still open. Same riotous wallpaper, I see. And across the street, the old Subway In, the glaring neon sign still untouched. The girls and I would sometimes go there for a nightcap in our college days. And, of course, there's Bloomie's. What would New York be without Bloomie's."

Longstanding landmark businesses are rare enough these days, but four cheek-by-jowl with one another? All the area needs is a shoe shine stand and a checker cab stop.

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