I'm gone five months and the whole show falls apart. Saturday (the 9th) was the last Misshapes ever. Mr. Black was shuttered indefinitely after a drug raid three weeks ago. Chumley's has become an ugly construction site. Eastern Bloc is full of dancing queens. Condomania is dead. Rafaella (the one on 7th) is gone. The bestest deli ever and the site of so much late night joy blew away. Marc Jacobs just opened his third fucking (stupid, pretentious, annoying, gumboot-ridden, aesthetically irritating, brainless WASP without-a-clue attracting) store on the same West Village block. That theater by Bedford St closed down. My favorite Thai place practically doubled their prices in six months - is Manhattan sinking?? It all came to a head while walking up Bleecker Street yesterday. Mrs Upper East Side (who probably now lives in some fabulous 2,500 sqft loft along Eleventh Avenue with a manual elevator and a pressed-tin roof) called to her darling changelings - oh look, they're opening a Coach store, isn't that marvelous? The kids were eight or ten or something and they all seemed positively delighted. $3,000 handbags! Yay! Never mind that I now have to walk all the way over to the Seventh Avenue just to buy striped fluorescent green condoms. Is she the reason my neighborhood is dying? Reminds me of when my then five-year-old overindulged and severely under-loved half-brother shouted at me from his waterfront bedroom to take notice of his brand new Birkenstocks and told me that he adores my Diesel jeans. As in, he actually used the words 'Birkenstock' and 'Diesel'. Yuk and yuk. He was five for fuck's sake. I can't wait till I'm old and crazy looking. I'll be the guy standing outside Corner Bistro (which by then will probably be a cute little Miu Miu outlet with exposed brick walls and the original neon 'Corner Bistro' sign hanging behind the cash register) shouting about how the Village used to be back in the day and hitting people with a sharp stick. Or at the very least just hitting people with a sharp stick and mumbling something about Jesus.