Friday, October 14, 2016

Hot Dogs Gone

I was sorry to confirm today that Brooklyn Hot Dogs, at 9th and Third/Second, has closed. It's been a longtime stop-off for me when walking along 9th, but the last few times I've passed there - either by bus or on foot - I've noticed it shuttered.  I figured this was just a question of bad timing, as the place closes mid-afternoon, and I usually drop by earlier, but still, the sightings were ominous. Today I dropped by in the middle of the day and the shutters were still down.  The guys at Ferrantino's confirmed my fears: it had been closed a week or two, or maybe a month, someone said. They didn't know why.  We all agreed what a great place it was - so friendly, and the food so good. We'd miss those chili dogs.  The lady that worked there was lovely - I remember her telling me about the sewing machine displayed up on a shelf near the counter. It had belonged to her mother, who'd taught her to sew, and she treasured the memories it stored. Whenever I walked by the stand along 9th, I liked to look through the gate next to it, down the narrow path to the back house that came with the tiny cafe. I wondered what it might be like to live there.  A house of dreams! A house across the street was my other obsession, and a building I'd actually got to go inside.

The Hot Dog mostly catered to industrial workers around the area, as do the cafes that are found on the corners of Third around here, businesses that open and close early, and serve hearty, inexpensive Spanish & American breakfasts & lunches.  There must be increasing pressure on these small, staple restaurants as the make-up of the neighborhood changes.

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