A lot of people thought that Elaine's was an overpriced, clubby restaurant with terrible food. But to its regulars, the restaurant was heaven on earth. To commemorate the one year anniversary of its shuttering, a writer for the Times waxes poetic about how hard life is now that Elaine's is gone. Here are the 10 most absurd lines:
1) "The period just after Elaine’s closed now seems a blur of desperation."
2) "To describe the past year in the life of an Elaine’s expatriate is to wander into a world in which you feel both disconnected from, and yet — partly because of social media — at least superficially connected to other expats."
3) On how other places just don't stack up: "Years of sitting by the dark walls of my dimly lighted refuge — surrounded by pictures, books and framed book jackets — conditioned me to like a place with an older, lived-in feel."
4) On his head space now that Elaine's is gone: "It’s a place where a sliver of familiarity can take on great importance, and where, at least until now, there is still a feeling that something important is missing."
5) "At least one person wrote on Facebook that a shuttle should be established to take us to places where former Elaine’s employees work."
6) On finding a new hangout: "I’ve been to many newer places that scream generic competence but have little soul. "
7) "The year has left me time to go elsewhere and do other things. I’ve been going to the theater more than at any time since I discovered Elaine’s..."
8) "After one year in the post-Elaine’s world, I can say that for me there is still no place that makes up for the loss of Elaine’s, and there might never be."
9) "Finding a hangout is an organic process. You grow into a place naturally, and it grows into you. You can’t force it. You can’t just snap your fingers and recreate magic."
10) "And so we roam about, and at times I wander over to my Upper East Side village. There, I duck into that nondescript Thai restaurant and have a quiet lunch that sets me back about $10, with tip. That, at least, is something I could never have done at Elaine’s."
· After Elaine’s, You Can’t Go Home Again [NYT]