29 April 2008

The Last Remnant of Kiev Comes Down

Two gentleman were busy Tuesday dismantling and altering the facade of the restaurant space at the southwest corner of Second Avenue and E. 7th Street in the East Village. The good news is they took down the horrifically garish signage belonging to the American Grill, the lackluster eatery that took the place of the great, old-school Russian diner, Kiev. The bad news is they were also taking down the great Kiev sign, which the owners of American Grill, out of laziness, had left on the second-story corner of the building.

The industrious duo, seemingly connected with the new eating concern which will soon occupy the address, attacked the sign with screwdriver, hammer and other implements of destruction. They opened it and ripped out wiring that had once made possible its illumination. I peppered them with questions, but they either did not understand English or pretended not to. The American Grill sign parts were collected on the sidewalk.

I let them be and returned to check on their progress three hours later. I feared I might never see the Kiev sign—a classic—again. It was still there, but hollowed out; you could see right through it. My friends were now busy painting the facade a loverly shade of, um, black. They seem like a particularly unsentimental bunch, the new owners.


tenpenny said...

Kiev was so awesome. Used to go there at all hours while in college and they would let us stay as long as we wanted. Everything I ate there was good. I'm still sad that they're gone.

starzstylista said...

not great, not even particularly old-school, and most certainly not russian.

best ukrainian/polish place that has been ruined in the east village: odessa; cheapest: leshko's; most laudably hanging on: veselka

Hell Yup! said...

I LIKE VESELKA! I remember flying back to NYC from a 2 wk business trip in LA, arriving home at 1am and riding my bike to Veselka for goat cheese pierogis and borsht - JUST WHAT I NEEDED!