The Empire Diner, a landmark of Manhattan’s Chelsea district (which is now home to gentrified art galleries, restaurants, clubs and parks) is no more. On Saturday, the famed eatery immortalized by John Baeder in the paintings above and below (top), closed its counter, forced out by rising commercial rents and rapacious commercial landlords. It has gone the way of another famed NYC heartburn heaven, The Second Avenue Deli, which although reestablished in a new locale, just isn’t the same. Losing this establishment is truly a crying shame. So, let’s take a moment to bid adieu to and reflect on another victim of excessively rising costs in an age of wage freezes and unemployment.