"the" Mrs. Astor

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sadly, The Rainbow Room has gotten an eviction notice; I suppose this is the wrong time to own a restaurant with a monthly rent of $500,000, but the Cipriani family claims they tried to work out a deal with the "greedy" Tishmans who own the building. Ah, "greed"; that's how we ended up here, isn't it? Every night at The Rainbow Room was special. How could the penthouse floor of Rockefeller Center, complete with an orchestra and a revolving dance floor, be anything else? Over the course of my sixteen years in New York, I went to dinner there a half dozen times; it wasn't anything you did on a regular basis. One night, I brought my boss there; I was positioning for a bonus and raise one December (and it worked). She was an older, widowed woman and I guess I was her walker, a gay man who wines and dines older woman lacking a willing (or living) husband to do the same. I took her out once a week, and we had a drunken blast each time, but The Rainbow Room made her light up into a dance maven (thanks, Mom, for those three years of ballroom dance lessons). That revolving dance floor could get tricky, though, and in one elaborate under-the-arm pass, she slipped out of my grasp and slid across the floor; I squinted and watched as she just sort of continued away in the centrifugal force. We were too drunk to care and just got back up on the horse.

Now what? I assured a concerned Pimpernel that there is always someone interested in owning a icon like that. The Cipriani's were the perfect match of restaurant know how and social connection. I guess we'll end up with either a Russian oligarch or Chinese cement magnate owning it now. I'll have an order of General Tsao Chicken and a foxtrot, please.


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