Big Nick's Burger and Pizza Joint on New York City's Upper West Side was an institution. It opened in the the early 60's and stayed through all of the "bad times" in the neighborhood. It was located just three and a half blocks north of the notorious "Needle Park," a haven for junkies. It provided food at all hours for hungry, grateful New Yorkers. A safe sanctuary late at night for the wandering lost soul. It offered an insanely extensive menu that catered to every taste.
It WAS New York City. And New York City as we all knew it and loved it is disappearing. On every block we now have safe corporate or corporate franchised outposts. Producing the same bland products that can be sampled anywhere.
What is the point of even visiting a city if everything that once defined it has now been erased. Replaced with just another corporate facsimile chain experience? The same food, clothes, music, entertainment? Why travel at all?
Nick Imirziades deserved better. After 50+ years being a good tenant and valued part of the community, he deserved to be allowed to continue running his business, providing employment to many people with a fair rent increase. The Upper West Side is now a cultural ghosttown, riddled with banks, chain drug stores, nail salons and coffee bars. Almost everything that ever defined it as a neighborhood has been EVICTED. ERASED.
Let's hope Nick can find a new space for his wonderful business at a reasonable rate somewhere in the neighborhood or at least Manhattan so he can carry on the tradition.
Support Nick. Speak up. Support local independently owned businesses.

Shot and edited by Dave Mack.
Music "Melancholy Serenade" by the incomparable Jackie Gleason.

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