When Vesuvio closed in June for maintenance on its star coal oven, the bakery was confident it would reopen after just a few weeks. Such is not the case — tinkering with relics from the twenties takes time, and the job isn’t finished. Worse, there’s no set date for the shop’s return. But a tipster recently passed by and noticed that the store’s signage has become kind of like a one-page international yearbook of woe, with messages from visitors hailing from from London and Bangkok and even the outer boroughs: "Every time I come to N.Y. I come here to heal my soul," reads one such lament; "We came all the way from the Bronx," says another.
Listen, Vesuvio: The people are hungry. They are weepy. They are pulling pens out of their fanny packs and taking action. And frankly, it won’t be long till some Jean Valjean type staggers up from FiDi to steal a loaf of bread. Don’t you want Jean Valjean to have his bread?