Lost City Loses Its Lease on Life


Less than a month after the demise of another excellent New York blog, Neither More Nor Less, Brooks of Sheffield is shutting down Lost City.

The blog, which was created almost four and a half years ago, was, as Sheffield wrote, “a running Jeremiad on the vestiges of Old New York as they are steamrolled under or threatened by the currently ruthless real estate market and the City Fathers’ disregard for Gotham’s historical and cultural fabric.” Over the course of some 3,000 posts, Sheffield wrote of buildings, businesses, bars, restaurants, and neighborhoods that either had fallen or were perilously close to falling prey to rising rents, metastasizing chain stores, or rapacious real estate development.

Lost City often chronicled the fate of old restaurants — a subject Sheffield will still write about in his “Who Goes There?” column for Eater. In his final entry on Lost City, he writes:

It is still inconceivable to me that New York could have (and elect, and “elect”) a mayor who witnessed the extinction of such irreplaceable city landmarks — Chumley’s, Gino, Gage & Tollner, Cafe Des Artistes, Manny’s, Astroland, The Green Church, Cedar Tavern, Gertel’s Bakery, CBGB’s, Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium and countless other institutions — and never uttered a peep. … He never saw the value of what was vanishing.

The only thing more discouraging than the disappearance of unique old restaurants full of character and color is the disappearance of the blogs that care enough to try to capture their importance to the city’s culture. R.I.P., Lost City, and thank you.