Rabu, 10 Februari 2010

Nostalgia is not what it used to be. I'm all for progress as the expression goes; I like modern minimalism and glass and steel. As ever it's all about finding the right balance between old and new. I love 30 St. Mary Axe in the City, otherwise known as The Gherkin, which sits quite happily alongside more traditional buildings. Sometimes though it's good to hang onto the old. I read recently that one of the last 'train car' steel diners in New York, the Empire Diner, has been taken over by a coffee shop after thirty years in the previous ownership, and there are worries over what they may do to it. Not too much hopefully.

It sits on the corner of 10th Avenue and 22nd Street in Chelsea and is a classic icon of the genre and a great place to go for breakfast, if you can understand the language. 'Do you want your eggs easy over or sunny side up?', 'No, on a plate please.' This is me at the counter:

And here is a poem from my first collection 'Shades of Grey', that is self explanatory:

Empire Diner

She said she'd be there.
Snow like cold ashes
blowing in his face.
The all-night diner -
all streamlined cool
downtown on tenth -
throws warm beacon lights
like an ocean liner.
He picks up the pace.

She's there on a stool
at the long black counter -
all sparkling chrome
and Chrysler lines.
It's three-thirty by
the restless clock
and the coffee's perking.

She smiles, he sits,
lights two cigarettes
like Bogey would,
hands one to Bacall.
They watch the smoke
spiral towards the polished
black ceiling, see themselves
looking back down.

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