In much the same way that Beaux-Arts buildings or Coney Island amusements only became objects of veneration when they had almost disappeared, New York is only coming to appreciate the greatness of its diners now that they are in their twilight. That’s the view of an article in today’s Daily News, which celebrates some of the city’s best ones: the Pelham Bay Diner in the Bronx, the Carroll Gardens Classic Diner in Brooklyn, the Tower Diner in Queens, and the Red Flame Diner in Manhattan. It’s not just the moist meat loaf, the perfectly gelatinous fried egg yolk, or the unctuous, orange spaghetti and meatballs that the piece celebrates; there are the intangibles too. “Diners glorify tradition and evoke nostalgia for a simpler time, when the maitre d’ greeted every patron by name at the door and asked after family members.” Add in the vast menus, 24/7 hours, and complete indifference to health concerns, and diners now seem like remnants of a better, simpler age — which, in fact, they are.
First they took away the Moondance… Photo: Getty Images