Friday, September 26, 2008

The Times They Are A-Changing

Summer is my favorite time in Greenwich Village -- the busy, artsy town just a train-ride from my old home on Long Island.

Every time I return to New York, my friend Erin and I go to the Village, always stopping for a cappuccino at our favorite place, Le Figaro Cafe. The 50-year-old haunt was the original gathering place for the likes of Bob Dylan and the Beatniks, a cultural fixture on Bleecker Street, and a personal landmark for us.

Then we saw the sign on the door. CLOSED. Le Figaro Cafe will become a burrito chain restaurant.

Have you ever lost something you thought would last forever? It doesn't feel too good. Now, in the grand scheme of things, Le Figaro is not groundshakingly important, but for Erin and me, it was a piece of our personal history, and it was gone. As Dylan once sang, "The Time They are A-Changing."

I was stunned, but rather than stay focused on something gone, I thought about the good things that still remain, like the fact that I was walking down Bleecker Street with the same wonderful friend I've known since my first ventures into Greenwich Village. 

"Well," we said, "Let's walk across the street to the Cafe Del Mar and try their cappuccino." And we did.