Punk Mecca to Deli

So the other day, I’m walking down Park Avenue South, hunger pains gnawing, and I noticed this across the street:

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I’m a salad bar fan, so I cross the street, but before entering, I notice the sign: “Fraiche Maxx.” The Frenchified “fresh,” makes sense, but “Maxx”? Who comes up with these names?

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Entering, I encounter the usual salad bar, deli emporium, symbol of Manhattan sterility, the anti-bodega, if you will:

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I love salad bars–the fried rice, imitation crab meat, and soggy sushi rolls at exorbitant prices–as much as the next guy…

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But this was depressing. After spending $15, I went up the stairs:

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…to eat in surroundings that were unusually depressing, even by second-level salad bar standards:

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This, I thought, is hell, if hell were a salad bar. But as I gorged on my General Tso’s chicken and seafood tidbits, deja vu stirred. I’d been here before in the long ago. Then it hit me. I had returned to Max’s Kansas…

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Before it closed for good in 1981, the legendary bar and music venue was a hang out for very hip bold-face names…


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…and headlined just about everyone…


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Springsteen…The New York Dolls…


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And many, many others. New York has to change, but it would be nice if there were at least a plaque, or a photo…


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