Last August, I was back in New York for a tradeshow, and I was lucky enough to head into to the Lower East Side with some colleagues for a pre-drinking nosh at the now dearly departed 2nd Ave Deli.
For the three people I brought with me, none had ever experienced real New York deli... so this is where I initiated them to real pastrami and corned beef, chicken soup with kreplach or matzo balls, rugelach... oh, the rugelach. Ed, my beer drinking buddy from Chicago who had said in the cab ride there that he never understood what was so great about New York deli had to not only take pause - he had to call his wife from the table and say that he finally understood why New Yorkers laid claim to having the best deli in the world.
When Ed wrote to me a few weeks ago to say that when he recently went back in search of a turkey sandwich, 2nd Ave was closed... possibly temporarily and probably permanently.
For such a venerable institution to close because the new owners have visions of neighborhood gentrification is an insult to all of the memories people for many generations had of this deli. In New York, and the world, this was one of the best, and now it's gone.