This week I was talking to a student I had just met, and we were happy to discover that we had both been born in New York City. She grew up in the East Village, so we reminisced about how radically that part of the city has changed over the years.

It was so good to meet a fellow native New Yorker, and to realize we had that in common. But it was even better to do what proud New Yorkers always do — complain about New York.

We groused about the way the true character of the East Village has etched away with time, replaced by something more commercial.

“St. Marks has never been the same,” I said, “after they opened the Gap Store.”

“Wait,” she said, “there’s never been a Gap Store on St. Marks. I would have remembered.”

“I am sure there was a Gap Store,” I insisted. “It’s closed now, but I remember when it first opened, we all thought that was the beginning of the end.”

So we went to the Internet. Sure enough, there was indeed a Gap Store on St. Marks. It opened in 1988.

“That,” the student said, “was before I was born.”


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