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The End of the Atomic Age

Last week, the Era of the Atom ended. Atomic Passion, a thrift store on East Ninth Street, right next to Dirt Candy, closed for good.

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Atomic Passion has been here as long as I’ve been in New York. I lived up the street from it when I went to NYU, and it’s owned by Justin, who knew my husband in college, so it was a trip to open Dirt Candy right next door to him. One of the most amazing things has been knowing Justin as a young punk, and knowing him now as a dad with some gray in his beard. For almost 18 years his store was East Ninth Street’s anchor, the one place you always thought would be here, and the easiest place to use to orient folks when giving them directions.

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“Just keep walking till you pass

the place with the cheerleader ladies on top.”

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This is the kind of store that makes a neighborhood in New York. Gigi and Justin kept this place running on little more than hard work for years and they knew everyone on the block and gave out the best Halloween candy. While building Dirt Candy, I was always stopping in to vent or to get their opinion on different issues with the block. Jenny, Justin’s significant other (I was never sure if they were married or not) works right up the street at her hair salon and when their son, Vance, was born a little over a year ago he quickly made best friends with the fire hydrant outside Dirt Candy and I’ve been keeping track of the months passing by watching him grow up.

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According to Justin, they just couldn’t make the numbers work anymore. We all know that life isn’t fair, and anyone who expects the good guys to win is living in a dream world. But it’s a loss to the block for Atomic Passion to go, and losing my neighbor makes me feel like it’s not Atomic Passion that’s wrong here, it’s the world where their numbers aren’t the ones that work. Most people didn’t notice Atomic Passion close, but if you were on East Ninth Street last week you would have seen part of the city die. Because when Atomic Passion closed, New York City became just that much colder, just that much of a tougher place to live.

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I’m sorry, too.

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Spinach $13
spinach & grapefruit mille-feuille,
with smoked pistachios and ricotta

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll $10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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