ODE TO APT 78
As vintage Major Lazer blared through the speakers and a hundred-plus sweaty hands carried my tiny body from middle table twerk-and-dive to a safe landing by the swinging kitchen doors, I laughed to myself, "What the f*ck is this place?“
The magical nook, nestled in the heart of Washington Heights, was Apt 78; the self-appointed “laid-back lounge” I had no idea would become the framework for much of my twenties.
Owner Jose Morales is not only the heart of it’s inception, but a cultural patriarch and an inspiration to all. Not many can attest to successfully sodding the ground that tried to bury them up, but Jose—as we all know him— stands in a lush field that grew from the concrete on Broadway Avenue.
Hearts all over New York City shattered early Tuesday morning as they read Jose’s caption below his closing announcement Instagram post.
Jose explains that “the constant battling with [the NYPD] took away the fun and passion” he once had. In the same breath, Jose says there is not much else he could accomplish at Apt 78 and that he wants to play a role in the changing of the community. He proceeds to thank everyone from past employees, to participating organizations, press and customers, but I think I speak for the masses when I say I want to thank him…