Still, knowing something is nearing its end doesn’t make that eventuality any less sad, and this Kmart in particular felt different. It seemed, at times, as though it were modeled after someone’s bleary recollections of a store they’d just dreamed about, where the details shift and morph, and it doesn’t strike you that something isn’t quite right with that until you’re trying to make sense of it out loud.
It was a Kmart, yes, but dustier than any you had ever seen and stranger than you would expect. It wasn’t necessarily reliable, but it was relied upon. If you rode the 6 (perhaps to work at 770 Broadway, as I once did), you could walk from the train right into the store’s subterranean entrance, like a vampire dodging the sun. And even if you never set a foot inside, it was a constant in an ever-changing plaza — a store that existed, despite everything.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/style/kmart-astor-place-closed.html