• Donna’s doesn’t look right without the flower shed sticking out along the street, where flowers were always sold, even at three in the morning, by young Filipino men who had holy cards taped up on the door of the tiny little room they used as an office. In the bodega itself, Donna, or sometimes someone from her extended Korean family, could usually be found behind the counter from very early in the morning to midnight, when she turned out the lights and pulled the metal grate down across the front of the shop.

Donna’s, which sits on the corner just down from the townhouse our founder bought over three decades years ago, has closed after thirty-some years, the victim of a rise of (local rumor has it) $16,000 a month in rent. Not, we stress, a rise to but a rise of. RJN had given Donna a key to the front door of the house, which anyone who’d locked himself out could get by saying “church” or “Neuhaus.”

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