Addiction and the Machine

October 20th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Nets are in Brooklyn. Jeremy Lin is in Houston. Steve Nash is in L.A. Jason Kidd is with the Knicks (he belongs in New York). Exciting NBA times are looming. HG is not just a pro basketball fan, he is an addict (as is SJ). The addiction reaches a crescendo during playoff time. Speaking of addiction, HG has only known one person who had kind words to say about drug addicts. This was the proprietor of the fruit and vegetable store (long closed) on Broadway near 81st Street. When HG and BSK resided on New York’s upper west side many, many decades ago, HG would often stop there to chat and pick up some tangerines or ripe pears. The proprietor was a Knicks fan and an astute scholar of basketball. He had grown up on the lower east side and learned the game in settlement houses and the outdoor courts at Seward Park High School. He felt, sadly, that the Knicks had no answer for Jerry West, the remarkable scorer of the Los Angeles Lakers. “He’s a machine. The guy’s a machine. Wuddiya gonna do?” The store had an overlarge stock of candy bars and sweet pastries (including Entenmann’s Chocolate Covered Donuts, an HG favorite). “Why all the sweet stuff?”, inquired HG. The reply: “The junkies, God bless them. They sent my son through college. They come in here late at night and eat an orange, maybe ten candy bars, a box of Twinkies. Those junkies like their sweets. It’s their meal of the day.” Well, mugging and burgling for the next fix is arduous. So a quick jolt of sugar and calories makes sense.

Gone But Not Forgotten Restaurants: Christ Cella

June 29th, 2011 § 109 comments § permalink

Christ Cella was a New York steak house on East 44th that was a lure for athletes and big eaters. At lunch one day, HG spotted the late Howard Cosell, boxing promoter Don King (of the electric hair) and that deadly jump shooter, Jerry West. HG stopped at West’s table and told him he was forgiven for all the bad things he did to the Knicks. Jerry was amused.

HG always had the same two meals at Christ Cella. In the fall and winter (HG did not dine there in summer, preferring lighter victuals): A scotch sour (freshly squeezed lemon juice); lobster cocktail with Remoulade sauce; New York strip steak (Christ Cella had the all time beefiest, best and biggest steaks in the civilized world) accompanied by salad with Roquefort dressing. Beverage was black and tan (Ballantine India Pale Ale mixed with Guiness Stout—half and half).

In spring HG replaced the steak with a platter of grilled shad, shad roe, bacon, home fried potatoes, sharp tartar sauce and cole slaw. HG never had dessert. Heartier souls knocked off giant portions of New York cheesecake. The admen in the restaurant preceded their meal with two or three martinis.

Yes, indeed, happy drunken high cholesterol days. Those martini drinking, cigarette puffing guys are, of course, a memory like Christ Cella itself.