Sweet Shirley T – A Lesley R. Lookalike

November 7th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

A sunny autumn morning in New Mexico and a happy HG is sipping morning coffee while perusing the dismal news. Ebola, Elections, Jihadis, etc., leave HG unfazed. That’s because HG’s coffee is served in a circa-1930’s cobalt blue milk pitcher adorned with the face of that delicious, singing dancing child movie star—inimitable, curly haired Shirley Temple. Little HG loved Shirley Temple (the late star was just a year older than HG). HG’s Mom received a Shirley Temple pitcher as a giveaway with a box of Wheaties (“The Breakfast of Champions.”). HG always had his milk or hot Droste’s cocoa in that lovely pitcher. HG was not alone. Millions of little Americans drank their beverages from Shirley Temple pitchers. Shirley made 43 movies and Hazel Atlas Glass Co. and U.S. Glass kept those pitchers rolling out of their factories. Knowing of HG’s fondness for Shirley, Gifted Daughter Lesley R. and husband Massimo, sent HG a Shirley Temple pitcher as an early birthday gift. Adding to the delight of the gift is the fact that little Lesley R., also adorned with a crown of curly hair, closely resembled Shirley. Paragons of cuteness.

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Thanks For the Memories

November 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

In 1954 HG partnered with a Broadway press agent and opened HG’s first public relations office in an odd little four story building, 236 W. 56th Street, on New York’s west side between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. The other tenants, like HG, were impecunious and vaguely connected with show business. The ground floor and part of the second was occupied by Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, celebrated for being one of Frank Sinatra’s favorite dining spots. It was a delightful old school restaurant featuring robust Neapolitan dishes. Though only ten years old at the time (it was founded in 1944 by Pasquale “Patsy” Scognamillo), it felt as if it had been there for decades. Prices were modest, affordable for even hand-to-mouth HG. The hosts were welcoming, generous people. They must have known that HG was struggling in his PR career because they always gave HG exuberant portions and coffee plus wine on the house. HG’s partnership dissolved. HG’s fortunes improved. HG moved to more appropriate offices on Madison Avenue. Nevertheless, HG continued to patronize Patsy’s, relishing its mozzarella in carozzo, clams arrreganata, chicken contadina and giant veal chops. Gradually, HG shifted his patronage to two other fine Italian restaurants — Delsomma on W. 47th Street and Paul & Jimmy’s on Irving Place (both long closed). While restaurants came and went, Patsy’s rolled along. It’s now in its 70th year and still owned by the Scognamillo family (It has only had three chefs in its history—all Scognamillos). Recently, HG checked the Patsy’s website. Food prices, of course, are much loftier than in the past. But, what gained HG’s attention was the wine list. Very few bottles priced less than $50 and many priced between $175 and $1,500. Yes, HG knows that New York has been taken over by the oligarchs, but still…. HG mused that New York is like an old girl friend. Cherish the memory but don’t arrange a reunion.

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Japanalian and Korealian

November 1st, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Recently, HG did a post entitled: HEALTHY (ALMOST) RAMEN. To accompany the post, HG’s adroit editor and collaborator, SJ, sourced a video on ramen that featured David Chang, the renowned chef and founder of the Momofuku restaurants, making the wonderful Italian pasta dish, cacio e pepe, with instant ramen. HG followed Chang’s technique with some Korean instant ramen. As Chang noted, an Italian might be horrified by the dish. HG ate it with delight and gusto. So, what should this riff on Italian food be called? Japanalian? Korealian? So, go to the HG archive and log into the post. Give Chang’s dish a try and have a happy surprise.

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