East Village residents spent the weekend trying to come to terms with the shocking news that power couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were calling it quits. The Hollywood A-listers were often seen mingling with residents near the home that they owned in the American Felt Building on East 13th Street near Fourth Avenue.
"First Bret Easton Ellis, now this," said one crestfallen Felt Building resident who asked not to be identified. "I feel like my whole property value just plummeted a good six figures."
Given the impending split, divorce experts said that it was unlikely that Holmes would ever set foot in the American Felt Building again as it has been a long-time property of Mr. Cruise dating back to his whirlwind romance with Mimi Rogers.
Down the street at Everyman Espresso, where Holmes was seen at least once, fans tried to come to grips with the fact that they may never have the chance to be in the same cafe as the starlet and her security guards.
"The East Village is now officially dead," declared Spencer Brighton, a 22-year-old playwright who had been working on an off-Broadway musical adaptation of "Dawson's Creek" that he hoped to present to the former Joey Potter. "At this point I might as well just go ahead and move to Brooklyn Heights. Or wherever it is that Michelle Williams lives."
Everyman management refused to comment on rumors that the space will be renamed either Holmes Is Where the Heart Is or Katie Kafe.
However, dayshift manager David Jourgenson did say that he had been approached about showing several screenings of "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" and "Disturbing Behavior" as part of an upcoming Breakup Memorial.
Holmes was no stranger to the neighborhood. For instance, she dined at Northern Sea Food Co. on East 12th Street once.
She also starred in "Pieces of April" in 2003, a darkly comic movie set on Pitt Street on the Lower East Side. During the filming, Holmes often stayed in character as April Burns and hung out at Max Fish and the Parkside.
"She actually came back to my place on Clinton Street for an after hours," said one LES nightlife regular. "None of us had any idea who she was. We thought it was weird that she was carrying a turkey, which turned out to be a prop from the film."
The nightlife regular continued, chuckling at the memories he was recalling.
"She was really laidback and didn't freak when my nose started bleeding from the bad Coke."
Outside St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery late Saturday night, a group of Holmes fans gathered not to mourn but celebrate. "She was the reason that I moved to the East Village," said Jane Kohl, who was gently strumming an acoustic version of Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait." Others in the guitar circle nodded and fought back tears as Kohl softly uttered:
I don't want to wait
For our lives to be over
I want to know right now
What will it be
However, not every local was saddened by the news.
"Who cares," growled an off-duty MTA employee eating at the Blimpie on Fourth Avenue and East 13th Street where town cars transporting Holmes, her security team, publicist, assistant, trainer, chef, food taster and nanny would often pass. "She's not even a native New Yorker."
"She's from OHIO," chimed in a large man at another table wearing a "Revis Island" T-shirt. "Toledo no less."
Regardless of where she's from, to the fans who created a memorial outside the American Felt Building, Holmes was one of us.
"Aside from this fairy-tale romance ending," said Jamie McCluskey, shaking his or her head and taking in the scene in front of him or her on East 13th Street, "I'm afraid I'll never see her again.
"Except in the movies," said McCluskey, gazing to the west toward the Regal Union Square Stadium 14. "Except in the movies."