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As I’ve hinted here before, Bryan and I are planning a conference on the subject of “Lost New York,” which will be held at NYU on October 2 and 3. So I’m starting a new blog category with that title. We’ll be posting observations about the ways in which the city is changing and what gets lost in the process. Not that we believe (as the category title implies) that change is always a bad thing. But we’re interested in the way that nostalgia seems to be inextricably intertwined with the way in which the ideas of modernity and progress are understood by those who make and record the city’s cultural history.

I’ve been going to Dean and Deluca on 11th Street and University for as long as I’ve been at NYU — going on seventeen years now. This branch of the famous food emporium and coffee store opened about a year-and-a-half before I arrived, in fact. I’ve met colleagues and students there with regularity, and I’ve seen countless advising sessions take place there over the years. No longer. Here’s what the familiar room looks like today.

dean_deluca_empty.jpg
Unfamiliar. Empty. Not sure why precisely. The store had been closed by the Department of Health in the middle of June for “operating without a permit.” At month’s end, the fixtures were moved out, and the store was closed for good.

Our friend mannahattamamma has some interesting musings about the loss of Dean and Deluca and the ways in which University Place has changed in recent years.

What do you suppose will go in to that space? Let’s hope it’s a restaurant and not another bank or Duane Reade.