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For the past 70 years, one of the crown jewels of Rockefeller Plaza has been the Rainbow Room, a dance hall and society space on the 65th floor of the GE Building, but 2009 is giving it its first black eye. As of next Monday, the in-house restaurant is shutting down, citing hard times.

The bar and revolving dance floor will keep going, but it’s a reminder that Manhattan’s art deco past is not immune to modern troubles. The Rainbow Room is a relic of a time when wealth was confined to families not corporations, but it has to play by the same rules as everybody else. The restaurant was owned by the Cipriani family, who have troubles of their own, but it’s still a reminder of how tenuous the upper crust is lately.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom