You know those people who complain about how their neighborhood is going to shit and how it just isn't the same as the good old days of yore and all that? I think I'm one of those, just backwards.

There's this block of stores on Third Avenue between 23rd and 24th. Two bars, an organic market, a newsstand on the corner. They all occupy the first floor of a large tenement-style apartment building. Neighborhood stuff, you know.

The roommate and I were walking home from a party two nights ago and she told me that they ALL were going out of business. That particular night was the last night of one of the bars and there were people spilling out onto the sidewalk, neighborhood types, all a bit weepy and, well, plastered.

The only thing they had in common was that they were all in the same building - either the landlord raised all of their rents or the building got bought, probably by one of the schools in the area, either Baruch or the School of Visual Arts.

I'm annoyed, not because the block is getting seedy or rundown or anything - that's what they were like, to be honest, but because I just know somebody's gonna put in something...shiny. Shiny tends to lack character and as far as I'm concerned the new stuff can stay on the other side of Lexington Avenue where it belongs and leave my little neighborhood alone.

Or maybe my distinct lack of affinity for change is breaking through. And man, I really liked those bars. Gr.