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I am the corner of East 10th Street...

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East 10th street and 2nd avenue, ny, ny

I am the corner of East 10th Street where the Second Avenue Deli used to be.

I stand among the Yiddish stars, bereft of brisket, melancholy over matzoh balls and crying my kishkas out over kasha varnishkes ne'er to be seen again in these parts.

Who will remember Molly Picon and Fyvush Finkel and the Barry Sisters when their names, etched in stars on the sidewalk, stand in the shadow of the next (choose one) Duane Reade, Chase, Starbucks?

I stood among the crowds who noshed on chopped liver on rye served while they waited for tables.

I stood there waiting, a vegetarian who lived down the block, because my basset hound Dooley knew her devoted friends--Joe behind the counter, Tony the manager, Lisa the greeter at the door--would bring her fresh turkey breast.

Where did her friends go?

I stand on the corner remembering the day the deli dedicated a star to Daniel Libeskind who said in English and Yiddish that Jewish theater and culture--and food--wouldn't die.

He stood on that corner in front of the Second Avenue Deli and said have no fear--the deli would remain a testament to that culture, as venerable and unmovable, as historic and beloved as St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery across the street .

I stand here wishing he was right.

-Adrienne Press

Credits: For the 2006 People's Poetry Gathering, City Lore and the Bowery Poetry Club invited New Yorkers to take on the personas of their favorite New York City places. The following is one of the results...