I also definitely noticed a shortage of bucatini in New York this year, though my commitment to tracking down why isn’t nearly as great as Rachel Handler’s.
But it did not come back. Spring turned to summer (allegedly; there is no hard proof of time actually moving forward). Summer turned to fall. All the while we searched high and low for bucatini, at Whole Foods and Russo’s and New York Market and Key Food, our friends searching at City Acres and Food Town and Brooklyn Harvest, stumbling upon it only occasionally and then panic-buying it, then feeling bad for panic-buying it, then repeating the cycle.