Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The pace of change along Fifth between 9th and 12th is swift. In all my time here, Sun Bo Bo (between 10th and 11th) has been a quiet & reassuring presence. Along with Garry jewelers (closed but at least still there with its glorious sign) and the late Timboo's, it's been a marker of another kind of avenue. It always gave my walk back home from the train a sweet note of pleasure. Back in March, I noted that Sun Bo Bo, at least for the foreseeable future, was closed - a consequence of family illness. Since then it's sometimes been shuttered, and sometimes had its doors wide open. Last week it was not open to the general public, but a group of favored postal workers were sitting by the window tucking into some food. Today it was open again but the cooking going on was for private consumption. The doors were open because it was so hot in there, what with the cooking and the humid weather. Its future is still clouded, a young man told me, as he tended to a cooking pot, and bills have mounted up. There are still serious medical issues. He talked about how hard it is to make a living here in the city, or the country as a whole, and about the different feel of the neighborhood. He talked rapidly, and looked exhausted. He didn't hold out much hope for the future.
I doubt there'll be much fuss if, as expected, Sun Bo Bo closes down. Making no impact beyond its small few-blocks world, a modest Chinese restaurant will vanish softly & without recognition. But places like Sun Bo Bo do matter - a family run business, and part of a retail mix that serves all incomes. I'll be sorry when it's gone.