La facoltà d'illuderci che la realtà d'oggi sia la sola vera, se da un canto ci sostiene, dall'altro ci precipita in un vuoto senza fine, perché la realtà d'oggi è destinata a scoprire l'illusione domani. E la vita non conclude. Non può concludere. Se domani conclude, è finita.
After 88 years, El Quijote will tilt at its last windmill on March 30. This is quite possibly my favorite restaurant in New York, on the ground floor of the iconic Hotel Chelsea. It’s an untouched midcentury time capsule of the sort you only see in the movies — murals, oil paintings, leather booths, multiple dining rooms, an epic bar, dim but warm lighting, leather-bound menus, red-jacketed waiters scampering about. You get the idea. It’s the kind of place you wish still existed — and it still does, for two more weeks. It’s the place I take people when I want to show them “my New York.” The neon is a beauty, too. It’s been buried under scaffolding for years as the Hotel Chelsea gets a swank makeover — I fortunately took this photo back in 2008. This was a survivor of the era when the Chelsea area teemed with Spanish restaurants, and indeed, is New York’s oldest Spanish restaurant. Now, for the record, there’s speculation El Quijote may reemerge — perhaps reimagined by a celebrity chef for today’s New York, designed to appeal to the “in crowd.” Other vintage restaurants have been thusly overhauled — the name survives, even the signage, but the soul of the place is robbed and the menu gets an unwelcome overhaul, especially in the price department. (And that’s what it’s all about, right?) So ... if you’ve never been here, I suggest you visit — pronto. Places like this have truly become the “impossible dream.” #retrologist