Bloomingdale Predictions for 2019
Last week, I left you with one version of a 2018 recap (if you missed it, you will find it here). Now, I want to look forward.
My father has a very particular, clean-and-dry 1950s style sense of humor. Throughout my childhood, he would ghostwrite wry insider predictions for the year to come for the New Year’s newsletter of a Congressman who shall remain nameless. Before he submitted them to be published under the Congressman's name, we would gather with my mother and siblings in the kitchen as my father read his cheeky premonitions aloud, cracking his own self up as we all laughed through the list. It’s a tradition that I miss.
So, in that spirit and with great admiration for my dad's humor, here now are my top ten predictions for Bloomingdale in 2019.
10. The long-mired construction of the W. 103rd Street brownstone will miraculously be expedited and completed in 2019, and in 2022 will be purchased by Senator-elect Ocasio-Cortez for use as her NYS HQ.
9. That Bloomingdaler Samantha Bee will take on the story of the Ginkgo of West End, giving it full Full Frontal treatment and sentencing the perp to a lifetime soundtrack of the soft-thudding sounds of ripe ginkgo berries falling on pavement and to a year's worth of meals that taste the way ginkgos smell.
8. That Henry Rinehart, formerly of Henry’s, will return to the restaurant business by transforming the old Abbey Pub into a swank new speak-easy and the password for entry will be “Bennie the Bum.”
7. That an important, show-stopping sculpture will be erected in the Broadway median at 106th Street opposite Straus Park — a long lost work that the American Venus, Audrey Munson, posed for in her old age, giving lie to the adage that youth is beauty, and turning that crossroads into the Mecca for Munson mavens the world over.
6. That instead of the hotly-lit plasmas delivering ads to us as a captive audience on the subway platform during our interminable waits, the MTA will instead feature gorgeous old pictures of the neighborhood celebrating the history of Bloomingdale curated by our own Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group.
5. That the granddaughter/son of the erst-while and missed owner, Jessie Salha, of Cafe Amiana, also known as Au Petit Beurre, will return in glory to the neighborhood and transform the now ridiculously-long-vacant HSBC space into a glorious plant-filled, warmly carpeted, electronic-device-free cafe with backgammon and chess sets for patrons young and old. It will become the new town square and a gold mine for the young entrepreneur, and greedy landlords throughout the catchment will rue their decision to leave storefronts empty when the way forward to everyone's good fortune was just sitting here all along.
4. That the DOT, in all its wisdom, will realize that their inability to cope with systemic flooding at curb cuts during winter melt is actually an asset; and with little extra effort (and less salt) they will turn these unjumpable puddles into full-fledged skating rinks simply by diverting the flow across the entire street. It is my further prediction that the great West End Avenue rinks will be subject of a takeover action by the Trump Organization in a vicious branding dispute which will last until global warming renders the legal action moot.
3. That soon a new app will make street parking profitable, not for the city but for the car owner, by allowing drivers to contract with the hit Falun Gong spectacle “Shen Yun” to place magnetized ads on your car doors, hoods and roofs, turning your alternate-side of the street jig into a lucrative new-economy gig causing you to leave your day job and no longer need a car.
2. That the Metro theater will finally come alive again as Bloomingdale’s — yes, the department store — finally opens an uptown branch in Bloomingdale, a long overdue hat tip to our naming rights and clearing up all confusion that we came first.
1. And my number one prediction for Bloomingdale in 2019 is that New Plaza Cinema, the start-up nonprofit group that grew from the ashes of Lincoln Plaza Cinema, will take up residency in the crazy old Turkuaz space, deeding back to the neighborhood its moving-loving future.
Happy New Year, neighbors. And may some of these actually come true.