You know you're getting old when you refer to places by what they were ten years ago.
Case in point: to the untrained eye, the photo above looks like a new restaurant on Amsterdam called "The Meat Ball Shop." But it is actually "EJ's" (or "the new EJs" or "the place that used to be EJ's"), because that's what it was when Samuel and Ethan were little and we had happy memories of milk shakes and pancakes and kids menus and crayons. Phooey on The Meat Ball Shop. Change is bad.
The nail salon behind the bus stop? That's "the place that used to be Silk Road Palace," the Chinese restaurant that gave away free wine. It had crowds of people outside on Saturday nights waiting for a table.
The vacant white storefront on the left? It's "the place that used to be Burritoville." When Samuel was little he and I used to climb along the lower window ledge to see if we could make it without having to step on the sidewalk. Did they mind having our handprints all over their windows? Nahh. They loved us.
The photo framing place hasn't changed since 1998. When Ethan was little he attempted to sell his hand-drawn picture books to passers-by on the sidewalk. He had limited success until the owner of the framing shop came outside and bought four. Hurray for the old neighborhood.
As for Malin + Goetz on the corner, they replaced an old Dominican barber shop that had been there forever. I thought they'd last six months. For some reason I don't refer to them as "the old Dominican barber shop." So the whole underpinning of this post falls apart there. Whatever. Change is fine when it has no impact on my nostalgia.
While we're on the topic, here's a look at the soon-to-be "eleven luxury condos" under construction on our corner. It was previously a tenement, and it sat vacant for a couple of years during the recession. I doubt I will ever refer to it as "the place that used to be the tenement where the crazy old lady fed pigeons and attracted rats." Hurray for rising re-sale values and quality of life. Hurray for change.