Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: The Year in Death

Of all the deaths that happened in 2016—and it seemed like there were more deaths in 2016 than in any year since the Plague—the one that hit me the hardest may have been the one that happened today, when I opened the New York Times and discovered that my local supermarket of the last 25 years—the Met Food on Mulberry Street in Nolita—was going out of business.
That was the final blow.
I know that may sound trivial, coming on top of all the other deaths and myriad other disasters we’ve witnessed this year, but this one, coming on the last day of the year and by complete surprise, was a bridge too far. I guess I should have known something was up this week when they stopped restocking their shelves, but still I soldiered on, my reputation as The Queen of Denial undiminished.
In the last few years, every amenity in my neighborhood has either completely gone out of business or had to relocate. The newsstand where I bought my beloved Times every day: relocated around the corner. The laundromat: relocated a few blocks south. Where once there were two delis on the same corner, there are now none. (Indeed, there are almost no delis left in my neighborhood, whatsoever.)
Last week, my gym of the last seven years, David Barton, announced to their members that they were closing all their New York locations in an email sent out at 1:30am. Surprise!
Our democracy has also, arguably, died. What else can you say when someone wins the popular vote and, because of some farkakte system called the Electoral College, fails to win the presidency?
And this is coming on top of a year that has seen a seemingly unending stream of celebrity deaths: David Bowie, Prince, and, in just the last week, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
So forgive me if I’m feeling a little less than festive this New Year’s Eve. Excuse me if my sentiments are more along the lines of John Oliver’s season-ending “Fuck You, 2016” episode.
I have a feeling that a lot of people will be joining me tonight when, as the clock strikes midnight, I’ll be saying this to 2016:
“Drop dead!”

1 comment:

Marieta said...

The Met's closing was indeed a blow. I remember when it opened. How long can Soho Garden, which predates most everything left in the neighborhood, hold out ?