I first heard about the impending changes to University Place between 12th and 13th streets via Japonica, my favorite local sushi place on the southwest corner of that strip. I'd popped in to pick up an order to go and was chatting with the manager, who grimly informed me that the landlord was looking to oust them to sell the building. That was only a couple months back.
In the ensuing time, EV Grieve reported the news that the building -- which also houses Bowlmor, the tobacco newsagents, Stromboli's Pizza, a parking garage and a couple of other businesses -- was being razed to accomodate the development of -- WAIT FOR IT -- luxury condos. The tobacco newsagents have already reserved space across the street (in the spot the doomed eyeglass place operated). No idea if Japonica have plans to move (they could move back to their original spot a block to the south, which remains empty after the ramen noodle place moved to Waverly, although the space is much smaller than Japonica's current incarnation).
Today, however, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of the below. Stromboli's Pizza has been a fixture on this strip of University Place since before I was born (by a year, technically). After 47 years and without so much a whispered "seeya," they are apparently shuttered. Those are my kids up top enjoying Stromboli's last summer.
While never particularly gourmet, Stromboli's made and sold pefectly solid, dependable pizza, and the place exuded a great sense of place and neighborhood. My favorite memory of the joint -- beyond many a late night visit after an ill-advised consumption of beers in my pre-parenting days -- dates back to only last summer, when during a light summer rain, I peered into Stromboli's to see original NYC punk rocker Tom motherfucking Verlaine casually enjoying a late night slice of his own. If it's good enough for the man who penned "Marquee Moon," it's assuredly good enough for me.
But now,.... it's gone. That's my little boy Oliver in front of what currently remains.