Dreams of my father. Lots of them starting at ten. Mad times in Manhattan 1960′s. Train from Springfield, dining car with formal tablecloths, waiters, silver, china. First plane ride on a PamAm prop to Idlewild from Bradley. Lunch at Toots (as in tootsie, not a horn sound) Shor watching an already drunk Jack Lescoulie at the bar during a day of buying men’s clothing at the Sperry Rand building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. Jack was Dave Garroway’s sidekick on the Today show. Sardi’s for dinner then late at Jilly’s singing around the bar with Nancy Wilson into the wee hours. Memories of trips to New York with my Dad. Priceless.
Copa Cabana to see Sammy Davis, Jerry Vale, lots of other Italian singers named Frankie or Johhny or Tony. Steve Lawrence, Edie Gorme. The bocce court at Il Vagabondo. Cousin Joey DiVito and his wife Tootsie (really) took care of me. P.J. Clarke’s, Elaine’s. Those were the days.
Swanky times at Sign of the Dove, 21, La Grenouille, Le Veau d’Or. Daddy Joe always acted as if it were his own dining room at home. They responded in kind. The Assembly steakhouse, Old Homestead, Peter Luger’s, The Palm. O’Neal’s original Ginger Man.
No wonder restaurants have always been the center of my life. Every time I’m on the West Side Highway heading south along the Hudson, I’m home.
Happy Birthday, Dad. 8/30/30