Last month, shortly after The Gotham Center for New York City History graciously posted a link to New York in Plain Sight, a visitor to gothamcenter.org responded with some kind words about the project and then went on to say
And this is the simplest answer to the question I'm most often asked, namely "why"?
There are more complicated answers to the "why" question, and I'll get to them sooner or later (sooner, most likely) on this blog, but there's another kind of simple answer, really the same answer as is implicit in what I just said, and that is that, e.g., the seafood diner on the southwest corner of Ninth Avenue and 206th Street disappeared a year or two ago — the last time I was up there it was a parking lot.
I never ate there, but everytime I saw it, or looked at the above picture of it, I was charmed to no end by the incongruity of its being in Manhattan, on the same small island off the coast North America as the Empire State Building and other New York City icons.
Maybe that's reason enough.