Saturday, December 28, 2013

There’s a yawning entrance to the basement stairs in the sidewalk outside Dizzy’s Diner, a few steps away from the twenty-five-cent rocking dinosaur. Positioned just so every parent well yelp with anguish as their toddler scampers up, teetering as she breathlessly contemplates the spotted yellow toy.

I examined it today. The space from the opening to the first step is too great, as though the sidewalk were once a foot lower. You see a wall of what, limestone? Concrete? Whatever the fuck the inside of a New York City street is made of. You see it along the steps on either side, vaguely striated, like every year had made another layer.

The metal doors, those corrugated iron doors that cover all these stairs, that bow a little every time you walk on them when they’re closed, making you wonder whether you’re about to lose your life—they’re always open at Dizzy’s nowadays. Like the guys can’t be bothered to shut it when they’re done. I walked to the edge and peered down. Nothing.