Sunday, September 27, 2009

More reader feedback (Glen)

Another reader, Glen, writes in enthusiastically to say how much he loved Dubrow's:

"Hi! I think it's great that you have your website about Dubrow's!

I used to eat there often in 1982. I'm lucky that I got to experience the place; I just made it, too. Little did I know that it would close three years later.

WHY did it close? The place was ALWAYS packed. At least it was in 1982. That's when I commuted into Manhattan every day to work.

The food at Dubrow's was GREAT! I never went to a place where they absolutely HEAPED the food on your plate, and it was DAMN GOOD FOOD, too, and the prices were reasonable. It was one of the best values in town.

I can't tell you how much Dubrow's and other places like the Horn & Hardart automats, and other cafeterias.

Manhattan has become an exclusive playground for the rich yuppies. You can't even LIVE in Manhattan anymore unless you're a millionaire. I have friends that both grew up on York Avenue, where they lived in tenements. They were VERY poor. NOW, those "TENEMENTS" would be unaffordable. They both live in Queens, which is where I live and where I grew up. They LOVED living on York Avenue, but, as they say, you can't go home again. It really is true.

It sickens me how New York City is losing its soul. You can't even get an egg cream in New York City anymore. I mean, what's more New York City than an EGG CREAM???????? What a damn shame.

There's nowhere in Manhattan left to eat. What's the choice? There's McDonald's, and there's fancy restaurants, and there's NOTHING IN BETWEEN now in Manhattan. I guess this is just another sign of the shrinking of the middle-class in America. Pretty soon, America will be just like all those other countries: The very rich and the very poor, and that's all! Nothing in between.

As huge chain restaurants and fast food restaurants take over both the city and our nation, as well, we are losing our national identity. New Yorkers, whether they be from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, or the Bronx (I never even THINK about Staten Island because I've only driven through there!!!!) are losing their identity. New York City, just like the rest of the nation, is becoming homogenized and watered down, whether it be accents, mom and pop stores, and other things. If you ask in Queens, where I live, if there's a luncheonette nearby, you'd be looked at like you just came from Mars. They don't KNOW what a luncheonette is, they don't KNOW what an egg cream is, it's unbelievable.

Dubrow's, The Garment District, egg creams, luncheonettes, cafeterias; it's all leaving or has already left the culture of this once-great city.

It's sad to see this happen to the city where I grew up.

What I told Glen in an email is my best understanding of why Dubrow's closed: The price of real estate in Manhattan skyrocketed and made it no longer possible to make enough money off of Dubrow's to keep it open. If people have been to that stretch of Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan, they wouldn't be surprised by the theory, and it seems to be generally supported by the articles I have found about the closing.

What is less clear to me is why the locations in Brooklyn or Miami closed, although I would hazard a guess to say it was also about money. It usually is, and especially when a place was so well loved you can't imagine any reason to close it.