The automat has returned with the grand opening of BAMN! Drawing a big crowd on St. Marks Pl. this evening, people lined up to experience the pre-fast food phenomenon of dropping a coin in a slot and having fresh hot food appear like magic. According to a surprisingly good New York Sun article, in the 1950s there were 180 automats in New York and Philadelphia, feeding 800,000 people a day such things as beef noodles with burgundy sauce. The last automat, in Times Square, closed in 1991. The 21st century version — complete with hot pink signage and even hotter concierges — will serve grilled cheese, pizza and dumplings with an Asian twist for $1.50-$2.50. Once the crowds disperse a little, I’ll give it a whirl and write up a review, which I’ll link to on Xlist (Now Playing…).