Dear China Great Wall,

There comes a point in any failed relationship when you just have to draw a line in the sand and say “no more.” And today, China Great Wall, we’ve reached that point.

We’ve had some terrific memories. There was that gorgeous spring day in Madison Square Park, nibbling Spicy Bean Curd under an ancient oak. There were the intense, last minute deadlines when I didn’t even have time to go out to buy food; on those occassions, China Great Wall, you’d come to me, and give me the energy to keep going. Those memories will always be with me.

But that was a long time ago. And restaurants change. Today I took a bite of your beef with garlic sauce, with its wilted green peppers and leathery beef and only tasted sadness. It’s like you don’t even try anymore. The fiery red pepper on the menu was just a broken promise, and lately, there’ve been far too many broken promises. And not just with little things, like using canned mushrooms or giving me brown rice instead of white, but big, important things, like completely forgetting my egg roll. Sometimes it seems like instead of appreciating my loyalty, you’re taking advantage of it.

I know what you’re thinking, and I want to tell you straight off that this has nothing to do with Szechwan Express. Yes, I’ve tried their

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hot and sour soup once or twice when they first opened, but that was years ago. This is between you and me.

Maybe I’ve changed over the years. In my younger days, wowed by your $4.25 lunch special I’d eat just about anything above room temperature served in a styrofoam box. But my tastes have grown and matured since then.

I’m sure you’ll do just fine. Some clueless tourist from Iowa on her way to take photos of her fat kids standing in front of the Flatiron building will probably eat your bland, chicken-less General Tso’s and think she’s being ‘exotic’ by not going to McDonalds.

I'm sorry, that was cruel. I guess I'm more hurt than I realized. Let's just say goodbye and try to be civil about it, alright. You had to see this coming. Your last, stale fortune cookie told me that it was time for a change. I'm just sorry that change had to be you.

Take care of yourself,

Stephen Levinson