A few posts back, I reviewed a lovely little cafe in my neighborhood called Door 51. I went on and on about how much I enjoyed this restaurant, how it was the first place I felt at home in my new neighborhood, how the owner and waitstaff already knew me by name. Even after starting work, I made a point of going in there at least once a week. I loved the food. I loved the people. I loved Door 51.
But as of this past Tuesday, Door 51 is now NoodleMee – an asian fusion restaurant and take-away. Imagine Norm going to Cheers and finding a sushi restaurant in its place. That’s how I felt. I literally started crying when I saw that Door 51 was no more.
At first, I was worried that the owner had been forced out of business. Luckily, that isn’t the case. NoodleMee has the same owner and waitstaff, so no one lost their job. But I lost my neighborhood hangout.
I wandered into Door 51 during my first week as an expat. I was very lonely and very worried that I’d made a huge mistake. The welcome I got there made me feel better, made me feel like maybe I was going to be okay, and that made Door 51 a very special place to me. And now it’s gone.
I’m learning that, as an expat, places like Door 51 are important. They help make me feel more at home in this new city, they keep me connected to my community, they give me a place to go if I’m feeling lonely.
So, I’m actively seeking a new place to call my own – preferably one that serves american-style bacon..