Friday, October 17, 2014

so long and farewell

Two of my frequently visited Happy Valley restaurants are closing according to neighborhood sources who are in the know. St. Germaine is closing its doors after several years of operation. I occasionally ate there and more often visited for a drink or three when I fancied something a bit more upscale than the local pub. They seemed to do a brisk business on race nights and when French sports were being televised. I awoke from time to time to the sounds of La Marseillaise being bellowed from triumphant patrons. It was the trade off for choosing to live close to all of the amenities. If you want to live in the center of everything, expect that excitement will occur from time to time (nudge, nudge, horrible man who lives above the Happy Valley Bar & Grill and keeps calling the police on customers' children playing in the open space).

The Chapel is also closing after decades in this neighborhood. SB recalls gathering there twenty years ago after attending the funeral of a friend who died much too young. It had been the friend's favorite drinking hole. I know several people who religiously attended the Chapel's quiz nights for years. I fear for their spouses who may face some grueling months ahead, playing Trivial Pursuit and searching for a replacement quiz night to save their marriages. Yes, the Chapel served a higher purpose and will be greatly mourned.

At least the real estate office boom seems to be over. Those were dark years when every street in the valley seemed to feature wall to wall real estate offices. Unfortunately nothing seems to be slowing the emergence of wall to wall banks. While we HK residents have great fondness for money, it is inedible and does not provide satisfaction at mealtimes.

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