My favorite year

One thing we especially love about New York is that not only is it a city with a rich history, its denizens (or, at least, a reasonably high percentage of them) remain fascinated by that past, even as they keep an eye cocked toward the future.

A fellow we used to know, who hailed from London but came to deeply appreciate New York City, once wrote, “Even New Yorkers who have lived here all their lives are happy to sit back and chat away about the place as if they’d just come across it. It’s a regular topic of conversation. And what’s nice is that it’s neither particularly narcissistic nor self-loathing, this chatter, but more curious and delighted.”

Which, for our money, sums up nicely the way many, if not most, New Yorkers feel about the city.

If you’ve even a little interest in New York’s past, present and future, we encourage you to pick up this week’s New York magazine. You can find it at any decent newstand or, one would think, your local library.

It includes a lengthy and multi-faceted feature entitled “The Greatest New York” that is a must-read for anyone with even the slightest affection for the greatest city in the world.

Only a bit of the lengthy feature appears to be available online (after all, they’ve got to move some magaines), but we found one particular section that appealed to us and will interest the Cladrite community, too, we’re convinced.

It’s entitled The Greatest Year to…” and includes such categories as “The Greatest Year to Be a Newspaper Reader,” The Greatest Year to Go to Coney Island,” and “The Greatest Year to Be in the West Village,” among others.

Give it a look and if it piques your interest, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of the magazine.

In search of a forgotten diner

It’s a pleasure — and even something of a relief — when one discovers that another individual shares one’s interests, even one’s obsessions.

As big Edward Hopper fans, we’ve long wondered where stood the diner that inspired what is perhaps Hopper’s best-known work, Nighthawks.

Finally, we gleaned from one source or another that the setting was supposed be somewhere along Greenwich Avenue.

We often pondered, as we wandered that stretch of street in the Village, which corner it might be, and we had sort of decided it was the building at 118 Greenwich, at the corner of Greenwich and 13th Street, just east of Eighth Avenue.

We didn’t really have any solid evidence to support our hypotheis; it was a more of a hunch.

Our brother in Hopper obsession, Jeremiah of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, wasn’t content, as were we, to idly wonder as he wandered the streets of the Village. He set out to pinpoint, once and for all, exactly which corner it was that housed the diner that inspired Hopper.

Did he solve the mystery? You’ll have to read his account to learn the truth.