It was the market's final night on the East River Thursday, and moist-eyed tough guys were running around with disposable cameras, hugging each other, popping bottles of homemade wine. Suddenly Mr. Bencivenga, 62, found himself reminiscing about the vanished old timers, the boisterous camaraderie, the way the sun arches over the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning. He recalled the fire in 1995 that destroyed the building he works in, the place he came to straight out of high school, and how he started selling fish on the pavement that morning as firefighters sprayed water over his head.
"We survived 9/11," he said with a lump in his throat. "You know, this is the last place blue collar fellas work outdoors. It's pretty amazing."
Then he added a final thought. "Nah, it doesn't make me nostalgic at all."