20 January 2007

Second Avenue, Hanging by a Thread

Walking down Second Avenue the other night, I caught this glimpse of Moishe's Bakery near 7th Street, and thought it representative of the state of the street—at least as it was once known. With the closing of the Second Avenue Deli, one of the last remnants of the thoroughfare's identity as a onetime Jewish mecca evaporated. Moishe's is perhaps of the last of the old kosher establishments on the strip. It still stands, dispensing rye and challah and surly service. But look at the sign, with the "Second Avenue" coda hanging on by a nail. One day it will fall to earth altogether. That's says it all.

As a sidelight, I was told by the owner of the Second Avenue Deli himself that the Moishe's space used to be the Second Avenue location of the storied dairy eatery Ratner's, now disappeared from the Manhattan map.

Another sidelight: Moishe is the name by which the Second Avenue actors referred to the low-entertainment-devouring audience. High art was one thing, but, in those days, Moishe got what Moishe wanted: laughs, tears and plenty of pap.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ratner's used to be where the supermarket -- met is.