I spotted the above photo on Tumblr earlier this week, and felt the need to pass it on here. I have no idea what year this shot was taken, but if I had to guess, I'd say sometime in the mid-`80s. This is, of course, the inimitable LL Cool J and posse perched at the entrance of the Jones Diner, which formerly held court on the corner of Great Jones and Lafayette Streets. Don't bother looking for it now, it's long gone .... along with LL Cool J's credibility in the wake of this laughable gaffe.
I was always a sucker for the Jones Diner. I frequently wax rhapsodic about the soon-to-close Pizza Box on Bleecker Street, but I do remember ducking into the Jones Diner on several occasions after several rack-worrying sorties through Tower Records on East 4th and Broadway (also gone, but you knew that). It was great for a dish of fried eggs and bacon or a burger. Probably not the healthiest grub in the world, but hey ... we were young.
The Jones Diner also plays a central -- if dubious -- role in the 1992 video of "Two Princes" by the all-but-forgotten Spin Doctors. I'm not going to lie: While I hated much of the hippy-dippy jam band scene that the Spin Doctors were spawned from (largely thanks to Wetlands), I found them hugely less offensive than, say, fucking Blues Traveller or Phish or (insert your favorite here). Lyrical claptrap aside, I actually didn't mind "Two Princes," but that might just be because its video featured the Jones Diner.
Below is another shot of the place from several years earlier (find out more about that pic here, for whatever that's worth). My bloggy buddy EV Grieve penned a nice piece on the place back in 2009 that's surely worth a read.
Today, the spot where the Jones Diner stood is vacant. There's a big construction project underway there, yes, but it seems to be stalled (not that I'm in a great rush to see it completed, mind you). That all said, it pains me that the Jones Diner's no longer there.