new york state of mind ii

self-explanatory icing on the best carrot cake,
and i don't even like carrot cake...

as a final goodbye,
so long,
last hurrah,
what you will,
the good people of the empire diner,
decided to throw a goodbye party.
in attendance were:
longtime patrons and relatively new ones (me),
servers from long ago and current ones,
and everyone in between.

everything was on the house,
the smiles came easily,
conversations became boisterous,
memories were revisited,
and people lingered.
it was as it should have been.

one of the waitresses,
circa 1979,
shortly after the diner opened,
giving an interview to ny1.
there was a collection of three,
each in black and funky jewelry,
with fascinating stories.
one met her first husband there.
anther remembered numerous limousines after hours,
and jerry hall,
or was it bianca jagger,
eating in a large party at one end.

there were sad stories too though.
out of three original owners,
one died of cancer,
and the other from aids.
all were spoken well of and remembered fondly.

as a young kid,
running in and our at all hours,
laughing too loudly with friends,
i could've guessed at the fun tales,
but did not know the sad ones.

the first piano player,
on the extreme left,
overcome by sun.
in the middle,
someone playing for kicks that day,
and on the right,
a patron,
(in the great scarf),
who's first meal in america -
i'd heard him admit -
was at the empire.

one of the handful of owners -
i believe -
spiking the punch.
it had been rum.

before we knew it,
the cake had been cut and eaten,
the drinks had been finished,
and the day was close to running out.
it was time to go.

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