Firenze Ristorante, a rustic Italian bistro and longtime presence along Second Avenue, has survived thirty years in business and now, a four-alarm fire. Luckily, patrons only need to walk south two blocks to see the newly refurbished restaurant.
What made me start to think about the demise of New York coffee shops was the surprise closure of Gene’s Coffee Shop (pictured above), a favorite local institution on East 60th Street between Madison and Park. An eviction sign in the window suggested that the owners were forced out, at least in part, by the rent.
Developers are raring to line their pockets. New zoning regulations would kickstart what the Commercial Observer describes as “a forest of new office towers in one of the city’s densest commercial districts.” The Midtown East upzoning proposal had gone from “a hotly contested rezoning under Mayor Michael Bloomberg to a relatively uncontroversial one under Mayor Bill de Blasio.”
Everyone is entitled to his opinion, including our social critic, Robert Joselow. Thus, we offer his list of signs that a restaurant may not be to his liking. We don’t necessarily agree with all of these points and have added our own comments. Feel free to put in your two cents.
Greenacre Park is a public oasis at 217 East 51 Street between Third and Second Avenues. Friends of this precious bit of natural elegance smack in the middle of the commericial hardscape oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s crusade to “upgrade” the zoning of Midtown East.
(Editor’s note: So do we. So should anyone who values quality of life in one of Manhattan’s most densely packed districts.)