When a Starbucks in Astor Place closed, there was shock and even a public sharing of reminiscences, but not what we would call an outpouring of grief. But what to make of the announcement that the East Village Ben & Jerry's on Third Avenue and 10th Street is closing? The store has been around for 22 years, longer than most East Villagers, and it always felt a bit haggard and off-brand for a national giant like Ben & Jerry's. Even Vanishing New York's Jeremiah, chief East Village nostalgist, is unsure how to react: "I have mild, mixed feelings. I am not 100% anti-chainstore, and this one was so depressing and weird, so vintage 1980s, it had a certain odd appeal. I guess we'll soon be welcoming yet another bubble-tea lounge to this strip."
Maybe that's the proper way to play it: start dreading the next chain store that will inevitably take its place! Fare thee well, Ben and Jerry, we'll miss chatting with NYU students in the annual epic Free Cone Day line.
· *Everyday Chatter [Vanishing New York]