When news broke yesterday afternoon of Lou Reed’s passing, the inevitable torrent of Tweets followed shortly thereafter. It’s now a common part of the “famous person dead” cycle, folks far and wide remembering their first encounter with the recently deceased’s work in 140 characters snippets. But this was different. Especially here in New York City, where he was king, we started noticing many of the tweets had a personal strain: people in NYC were telling tales of running into him here — outside Veselka, at a bar playing pool, sitting next to him at a show. What’s more, many were tweeting about Lou and Velvet Underground’s music being the reason they decided to move here to begin with. They used his lyrics as a road map of sorts to navigate the big, bad city. In total, it’s a moving tribute to a man and the city he embodied.
See also: Lou Reed’s Last Great Album
can’t help but think that lou reed’s passing symbolically represents the finite end of an era of nyc
— The So So Glos (@sosoglos) October 27, 2013
Love and respect to the passing of a legend… RIP Mr. Lou Reed. You WERE New York City!
— 95.5 WPLJ (@955PLJ) October 28, 2013
Lou Reed: whose music introduced me to trannies, NYC, Andy Warhol, and master songwriting. Thank you. RIP.
— Phil Eastman (@PhilipEastman) October 27, 2013
Here’s Lou Reed riding a bike in New York City. For what it’s worth, his bike was blue. pic.twitter.com/r2Rf4KaGv9
— Brooklyn Spoke (@BrooklynSpoke) October 27, 2013
I once passed Lou Reed in front of Veselka in NYC. I smiled, he nodded, we both kept walking. Coolest moment of my life. #RIPLouReed
— Terror of Dublin (@taradublinrocks) October 27, 2013
Oh, no. Lou Reed. Met him once. He was gracious and funny and made me feel so happy to live in NYC. #RIP
— Liliana Segura (@LilianaSegura) October 27, 2013
Lou Reed. Gone. And a bit of my misspent NYC youth goes with him. Take that Walk on the Wild Side, you deserve it.
— David (@davidavdavid) October 27, 2013
The first person I ever met on my first ever visit to NYC was Lou Reed. I’m heartbroken to hear about his passing. Rest peacefully, Lou.
— Anthony Gordon (@ProToolsARMan) October 27, 2013
(1/2) 10 years ago I met Lou Reed when waiting tables in NYC. I was so starstruck that I just stared at him when he asked me a question, and
— Mark Fortin (@SeniorTeenager) October 27, 2013
(2/2) he kindly just started to laugh & dropped the gruffness he’d had a moment prior. I met one of my heroes smiling, & I never forgot it.
— Mark Fortin (@SeniorTeenager) October 27, 2013
Goddammit Lou Reed. How are we supposed to have a New York City without you?
— Darcy James Argue (@darcyjamesargue) October 27, 2013
When I first moved to NYC at 19, I sat next to Lou Reed at two different events. I thought this was because we were destined to be together.
— Leigh Stein (@rhymeswithbee) October 27, 2013
My first night at NYU, I saw Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson walking around the Village. Perfect way to be greeted to downtown NYC. RIP
— Alex (@Woodsonian) October 27, 2013
I saw Lou Reed at a cat show – I was backstage at the Madison Square Garden Cat Show in New York City. It… http://t.co/Odhvahckkn
— Boring Stories (@RocknRollTedium) October 9, 2013
Late July afternoon in a post-sweltering NYC, nothing like Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, loud, with dirty martini nearby.
— Katrina vandenHeuvel (@KatrinaNation) July 31, 2013
Sat down to dinner and Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson sit down at the next table…. only in NYC
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) October 11, 2012
New York city, city of lights, arts and cabs and lou reed
— atziry garcia (@deadhead15551) October 28, 2013
Lou Reed just got a cab in front of me, then Annie Leibovitz came out the restaurant i was at… it was like “Midnight in Paris”, NYC-style
— Ryan Gentles (@WizKidMgmt) May 16, 2012
I was once lucky enough to work with Lou Reed. It was one of the highlights of my life in NYC. I will never… http://t.co/fi3ZCg3yTX
— The Breedings (@Breedingsmusic) October 28, 2013
Lou Reed the definition of NYC persona. A little less without him.
— John Reese (@rhysny) October 28, 2013
Listening to Lou Reed’s New York. Pretty sure that album’s the main reason I wanted to go to college in NYC.
— Paul Demko (@MHpdemko) October 28, 2013
Oh man, his New York record brought me to NYC. RIP, Lou Reed – http://t.co/2hM7e0xmbi
— Yee Peng Chia (@keencode) October 28, 2013
Met Lou Reed walking in NYC. Coolly said hey Lou. He said hey man. Great moment that I ruined by asking for an autograph. He said no. RIP.
— Frank DeRuggiero (@frankderuggiero) October 27, 2013
Lou Reed shouldve been honorary mayor of NYC. City wont be the same w/o him. Used to see him in Soho all the time.Now I wish I’d said hello.
— Larry John McNally (@LarryJohnMcN) October 28, 2013
— Will E. R. Shaw (@WmShaw) October 28, 2013
Lou Reed? say it ain’t so! I’ll always remember meeting you at the old tower records in NYC after purchasing a vinyl copy of Transformer.
— tad toulis (@LA360) October 28, 2013
I moved to NYC from Spain. On my first day, I walked into a SoHo bar. Ordered a beer. Looked around. Lou Reed was playing pool. Perfect Day.
— AnneLise Sorensen (@AnneLiseTravels) October 28, 2013
Lou Reed – RIP. I listened to his music over & over again when growing up in NYC area. Iconic leader in music scene.
— Jeannie Deva (@JeannieDeva) October 28, 2013
I can hear Lou Reed being played loud outside my window. NYC will miss you. RIP.
— Mark T. Conard (@MarkTConard) October 27, 2013
i just remembered that i met lou reed once! –at the magic shop in nyc while working on ‘only everything’..he was real nice
— Juliana Hatfield (@julianahatfield) October 27, 2013
When I think about Lou Reed I think about moving to NYC at 18 and wanting nothing more than to be an Artist. Thanks for the road map, Lou.
— whitney pastorek (@whittlz) October 27, 2013
I will never forget telling Lou Reed I loved him from the 92nd St Y stoop when I first moved to NYC in 06. “I love you too!” He said. RIP
— ahampp (@ahampp) October 27, 2013
Wow. One BIG reason I wanted to make things & live in NYC was Lou Reed. He’s meant so much to me. RIP http://t.co/h77DYqiDrA
— Ted Hope (@TedHope) October 27, 2013
Weird that despite the death of Lou Reed yellow cabs are tearing past my window just like before. Feels like NYC should freeze for a moment.
— Elaine Ronson (@ElaineRonson) October 27, 2013
More:Lou Reed 1942 - 2013