New York Nostalgia (The French)

January 21st, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

HG learned to love French food more than six decades ago. At that time, New York had many modest French bistros in the theater district; but, the really rough-and-ready, down-home French cuisine was found in the bistros west of Ninth Avenue. These were the joints that catered to French sailors from the Ile de France and other cruise ships that docked on the Hudson River. A meal cost about $1.50 (with wine). Lots of offal. It was in these bistros that HG learned to love tete de veau, kidneys, liver, gizzards, brains, etc. There were also some delicious, long simmered winy stews. Beef cheeks (never on an American menu) were a fave of HG’s female companions — fastidious damsels who didn’t fancy the organs ordered by HG. The French dining was often preceded by a good foreign film at The Stanley on gritty W. 42nd Street. A ticket was 35 cents. Apres dinner was garlic scented lovemaking in the best case scenario (or chaste companionship in the worst) in a $30 a month one room apartment on the West Side or Greenwich Village. Ah, ardent youth in a long ago, long gone, cheap New York.


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