[Originally posted on September 17, 2010.]

There used to be a restaurant in my neighborhood that I would go to a lot. One of my fondest New York memories is of taking a cab from the airport late at night and going straight to the restaurant with my suitcase and eating a late night dinner at the bar with a group of friends. They also had these disgusting brunches that just made you feel so sick, but were reasonably priced and a ton of food, so we ate brunch there most weekends. Tuesday nights we’d all meet up for a drink there and the bartender would make us booze milkshakes if we wanted. Once there was a rumor that the restaurant was being scouted for a scene in the Sex and the City movie. And once I was there on a date and a surprise burlesque show started for some reason. But then the restaurant changed their menu and redecorated to try and improve their business. It didn’t work. And then the restaurant closed altogether for awhile. They opened it a couple of summers ago as a pop-up barbecue place, but who wants to eat barbecue from a pop-up barbecue place inside of a failed restaurant? (Answer: no one. It closed again.) Then it was remodeled once more, and renamed, and had a new chef and a new menu and a new vibe. I ate there once and hated it. Then it closed again for the final time. They’re currently remodeling the building and I heard that it is going to be a paper store, like for fancy stationery or something. The friends I had that memorable dinner with that one night years ago have all moved. And, of course, all the burlesque performers in the city have been rounded up and placed in Federal Burlesque Performer Internment Camps hundreds of miles from the city.

The point that I’m trying to make is that the world changes. Sometimes when you stop and look at it you barely even recognize it, because it’s a new world. The world in which that restaurant existed and was a central location in my life has disappeared. And gone is the world we used to inhabit together, in which a woman in a motorized wheelchair could videotape herself “dancing” to Madonna while encouraging people to awaken their bodies if she wanted to, but she didn’t have a forum for posting that video and making it public.

Eventually this world, too, will be disappear. It’s just what worlds do. (Thanks for the tip, Funtastik.)

Comments (16)
  1. (this is my favorite post of all time)

    • This is my favorite post, because as a Thing on the Internet, it could have gone wrong any number of ways super easily, from the actual write-up to the comments, but Gabe’s setup to the video, about time passing and how some things are better than they were and some things are not, bounced off the video in an oblique way that destroyed me. And in the comments, the Monsters immediately seemed to get where he was going with it, which I can’t even imagine happening on more than a couple of other sites, and I think that speaks to the better angels of our nature or whatever as a, going to say it, “Community”.

      At the time of the post, I had had my second kid and according to New York law had to leave the city, so endings were on my mind and I was feeling sorry for myself. And now with vgum going away, or at least changing, it’s hitting me again. I’m old enough now – I’ve had losses in my family this past year, I’ve come back to visit Brooklyn to find things I loved replaced by other things, plus since this post first went up, I’ve had 47 additional kids – to understand that just because there are things that are central to us does not mean that those things will stick around. That lesson will keep happening forever and I don’t think that it ever gets much easier. But also: through this dumb site, I met lots of people that I now consider my friends, plus it in general has been a strong force of good in my life. Hopefully everyone will remember that part of it the most.
      If that doesn’t work, you’re fucked.

      • What’s weird for me is that this video was originally posted days before I left my old job. A job I hated and where incidentally I had a ton of free time for about 2 years and met all of you silly fuckers. It’s weird to see these re-posts, because there is a date sometime in September 2010 that I largely dropped out of Videogum. It is also weird for me because even though I don’t check in very often around here, there was a time in my life where Videogum/Videogum tweets probably accounted for 50% of my daily thoughts. Its odd to see something you were so heavily invested in move on without you and its even more odd to see it end when you always felt like one day you might try to re-enter the fold. I have very mixed feeling about all of this.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love all of you, growing up is hard, and Patrick would you like to make out? We can turn off the lights if that helps.

      • It’s wild. A buddy of mine just moved back to Boston from LA to be closer to his girlfriend. I try to tell him, the social circle that he left is just gone. I mean, people are still friends, and we turn up for important life events, but there’s no more roaming pack of 25 people going to a bar in Cambridge every week. It hasn’t sunk in with him yet, which is hard to watch.

        I had my heart broken a while ago, I moved on and now I’m talking about marrying this red head who I’m still convinced isn’t real and I’m just making her up all the time, which should be embarrassing. I’ve changed careers. All that since this video was posted, and I REMEMBER reading it. Of all the internet garbage that’s been poured through my eyes, I remember this from a time of my life which is now totally unrecognizeable.

        I know I’m more of a lurker than anything, but there are at least 4 or 5 Talking Heads songs that would absolutely set me off over this Videogum transition.

    • This is also my favorite posts. Serious a good moment in life.

      • In included that first typo because I wanted the world to know that I am okay with being imperfect. The second typo is because I was rushing and didn’t proofread.

  2. The project I’m working on has been suspended for a week and the bosses are fighting over what they’d like to do with me in the meantime, so I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen for like 2 hours waiting for them to call and this just made me dance around in my chair, which made me smile, which made me literally say out loud “God damn you, Videogum.”

  3. I would pay good money to see this video on a big screen with a live reading of Gabe’s introduction.

  4. let me just wipe away my tears.

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