My father died twenty-eight years ago this December. Each anniversary, I watch a movie that we enjoyed together, or would have. This year, a week before the day, I learn that the hotel his company owned has permanently closed. I’m given this news through an article titled ‘New York City’s historic hotels are owned – and destroyed – by Asians.’
I leave my apartment, hail a cab.
The driver, who’s South Asian, asks which hotel entrance, Vanderbilt Avenue or 46th Street. I cannot remember, so I tell him, ‘The one with the swivelling doors.’
He navigates a memory map of his own. We pull up on Vanderbilt. The building is boarded up. ‘Must be the other side.’ The same on 46th. The shuttering looks final, casketed. The effort to see where the door was, or whether it revolved, strains my eyes.
As the engine putters, the driver leans forward. ‘Wasn’t it here?’
‘I don’t know.’ I tip him and we both say thank you.