Monday, March 1, 2021. Well here we are … March already. In a couple of weeks we turn the clocks ahead. I happen to like that and always look forward to it. More light for all of our days.
It’s raining outside as I write this on a Sunday night. It’s light but steady. JH pointed out that it brings up the dirt left over from the now melted snowpiles; whereas a heavy rain would wash it away. The weatherman forecasts rain off and on all day today. It’s also warmer — 45-50 degrees over the weekend. Again, for me it’s like the turning the clocks ahead: something to look forward to.
The restaurants are opening in the city. Not full capacity yet but customers inside. This is crucial in more ways than one. Crucial for businesses to survive and crucial for us creatures to be out and about and living with and among us all. This month marks the year we’ve been in isolation in the city, and among the things we’ve all experienced of it is that it’s not healthy for us individually and as a society. We need each other; a simple yet complex reality.
Restaurants. I had dinner at Sette Mezzo on Saturday night with Steve Millington and Sylvester Miniter. There are only eight tables inside because they are widely spaced and even glass partitioning. But they were busy (and busy outside too where there are another 12 tables), and it was a joy to hear the voices of conversations filling the room. I mean that; a simple thing; a joy.
Things are picking up; people are looking forward to getting up and about again. A real estate broker was telling me about clients who’d lived and sold here and moved out to the Hamptons but are now looking to buy and move back into town. They missed it!
Steve Millington in real life is the General Manager of Michael’s restaurant (which is currently closed but planning on opening around the first of next month); and Sylvester and I are often dining partners at Sette. But Sylvester in the past two and half weeks has been in LA and Palm Springs (for a wedding of a childhood friend) and then in Miami where Gillian Miniter and their daughter Serena have been ensconced since January and is now back in New York. He confessed he missed the city.
I could see Sylvester had been energized with his cross-country gallivanting also. When in Miami, they went down to Palm Beach where Gillian’s brother is a longtime resident. Palm Beach is the talk of New Yorkers who have been getting away during all of this. Palm Beach has become a kind of greater mecca for New Yorkers (and other northerners too) escaping the pandemic isolation. It is the climate that is the original allure, but from the reports I’ve been getting, it’s the proximity to others; the people, we. Good and important for what ails us.
While we’re on the subject of Palm Beach. I got a call last Thursday (or was it Friday?) from Jackie Rogers who was in Palm Beach where she’s opened a shop on Worth Avenue for the duration. Friday was Jackie’s birthday. Her 89th, I believe. I mention it because she had called me and was down there getting her store organized. In other words, she was working!! On her 89th! The girl’s got energy; what can I say?
She’s fairly new in my life. I don’t recall when we met a few years ago but I’ve known about her since I was a kid reading the New York tabloid columns. She first arrived in New York from Boston in 1952. She wanted to be an actress, a movie star. And what a life that followed for that girl. And even more extraordinary that seven decades later she’s still knockin’ em dead. After all, a girl’s gotta eat!
But this is one of the great things about life in the city: the people you meet. I hope you’ve read the three-part series of Jackie’s “memoir” that is in the works.
It’s been an amazing life but if you knew Jackie at all, you know she’s a worker. She works. That’s how she’s personally regenerating post-pand. She told me her business down there on Worth Avenue is fantastic (FYI, she’s located at 225 Worth Avenue, right next to Graff).
When she told me that her clothes were running out of the store I asked her to send me a photo of one so we could see for ourselves. I also asked her to describe it: “Brocade jacket in shocking pink and black is hand printed in the orient and is cut on the bias so that you feel it move on your body. It is worn by the great model Donna Prudhomme.“