Thursday, June 1, 2023. Yesterday was another beautiful day in New York with temps midday in the upper 70s. The city has returned from the long weekend repasts.
New York moments. I look at the front page of the New York Post first thing every morning. It’s a splashy all-color homepage, highlighting the latest murder or scandal or maybe something flashy with movie stars romances. Not to mention Meghan and Harry. There are always a couple, maybe three murders a day — children, babies, old ladies, old men, 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-something; black, white, Asian, all types. Dreadful.
The online version is a habit; even a compulsion because it’s the Technicolor version of the old time tabloids. The Mirror and the Daily News, both are still breathing although the Post Online in living color makes it all a movie. A movie with a lot of song and dance. There are no scandals anymore; we’ve out-scandaled ourselves over the past few decades, BUT the Post keeps it going as daily news, matter of fact.
In a way, it’s the real news of what’s going on in our Zeitgeist these days. For example, there was an item/picture of an older man with a moustache dressed up like your grandmother. Several things came to mind: was he in costume or was this guy in drag? Maybe both? It looked like he was playing a joke on the young girl who was probably wondering why he was dressed like her grandmother.
He was welcoming her to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Boutique at Disneyland. Reminding me of the original song of the same name sung by The Fairy Godmother character in the Disney film Cinderella. The song was a famous hit about seven decades ago and every kid who went to the movies to see the film, left singing the lyrics to the song:
Salagadoola mechicka boola
Put them together and what have you got
Don’t recall seeing the film, but seeing that title I started reciting the lyrics to myself and was shocked that I could remember all three stanzas. Including the music. It was a Mack David /Jerry Livingston/Al Hoffman/Alberto Curci song. The real wonder of the song is how come it took four songwriters to put it together. A genius collab, however, considering that even some nitpicker out there can remember the lyrics to the whole song!
Then there are the items about the movie stars and the models, and one about how in prison where she “snitched” on two inmates. “They will beat her up the first chance they get.”
And an some colorful photos of Kim Cattrall who is returning as Samantha in “And Just Like That” on HBO; and Leonardo DiCaprio took a model to dinner with mother. That was right next to the photo of a 12-year-old Tulsa girl telling cops she fatally stabbed her 9-year old brother.
And the political items of the moment starring Hunter Biden and his father, as well as Donald Trump and the Florida governor running for President, and one about Kim Jung Un “reveling North Korean tyrant now a 308-pound insomniac ‘in vicious cycle’ of smoking, boozing, popping pills,” with an animated photo of him exhaling the smoke and clutching a bottle of “excessive” alcohol….
And an item about Tina Turner dying without ever meeting her grandchildren “reopening old wounds that her family has so desperately tried to mend”
But that’s not all: there are Sports — “Aaron Rodgers’ Packers breakup was uglier than thought …” And “MLB umpire confronts Astros player, ejects hitting coach after blown call.” You had to be there. And 83-year-old Al Pacino’s “baby mama” 29, expecting Al’s fourth child including an unrecognizable star with the beautiful and fresh look mama-to-be.
There are dozens of items like “Jogger discovers Mastodon tooth that went missing from California, beach.” And all that just the glance but only the beginning: if you have the time there’s links to the entire paper online.
Getting away from it all but keeping up. I had lunch yesterday at Bar Italia on 66th and Madison Avenue. I hadn’t been there in a long time and was looking forward to seeing Hassan because he’s one of the great maître d’/managers in New York, and for years now he’s been associated with the restaurant as well as La Goulue, and Orsay. I should add that Hassan is one of the best dressed men in New York. He once told me that he only wore a suit once a day, and if he were hosting both a lunch and a dinner, he wore a fresh suit for each. At the time he had 64 suits. Impeccable!
In this obsessive occupation of mine, the neighborhood in New York is the people you meet and see on a one-to-one daily or at least frequently basis. Because a lot of my business nature comes from, takes place in, meetings with people publicly in restaurants. It’s the metropolitan version of a 21st century mega-neighborhood. Many restaurants in New York have that role played out with the customers.
A good host is the premiere role. There are those who have a finesse that is so agreeable, it’s almost like meeting with a host who is your friend. Because they know the art of focusing on the moment. I haven’t seen Hassan since JH took that last photo of Ivana Trump out for a walk on an afternoon, and happened to pass by Bar Italia. She was walking uneasily with a cane and with the other arm in arm with the woman who was walking with her. Sho looked like she was her assistant or a caregiver. That was only two weeks before she left.
Hassan, however, was not present yesterday but off on a long deserved vacation with his family. But the restaurant still looks great, all white, fresh, summery and excellent Italian. This guest had an excellent cheeseburger.