After an extraordinarily well-researched journey into the possible real-life location of the diner immortalized in Edward Hopper's painting Nighthawks — trying to find a similarly wedge-shaped building, checking out old property records, combing through municipal archives — Jeremiah Moss comes to the reluctant conclusion that the iconic, lonely counter may never have existed, and certainly not at the triangular corner of Mulry Square, as many West Villagers prefer to believe.
Or was it that it didn't exist in one single location? "Maybe the diner, too, is a composite," he speculates. "We have to assume that the Nighthawks diner stood everywhere, that it came from every possible corner, from bits and pieces of the city, the large and lonely city that Hopper's art holds for us."
Finding Nighthawks, Part 3 [Vanishing New York]