6/12-6/16/17….

Just back from a week in UK seeing my wife’s family and the old (in several senses) friends I care about. Lovely time. Now the move begins, and I need to get settled before resuming posts. A lot to think about, a lot to say. But first we need to survey the battlefield and establish our order of battle. Back anon.

Boston Globe  baseball writer: “I know I write dumb stuff on Twitter I wouldn’t think of writing for the Globe. That’s the case for many reporters, and we should be held accountable.” Which seems to me to beg the question:  so why do you Tweet at all, asshole!

Waited in vain for one of Trump’s cabinet to give an edge to the round-table sycophancy by saying something like, “Mr.President, I am honored to be able to kiss your giant fat ass and suck your tiny dick.”

Will try to get up to speed eventually. For the nonce, this is pretty good, although I generally haven’t voted Democrat. https://baselinescenario.com/2017/06/15/telling-a-better-story-a-new-economic-vision-for-the-democratic-party/#more-16694

One thing that occurred to me in London that I will be writing more about – someday – is that while much is made of “trickle down,” the theory being that vast accumulations at the top of the wealth pyramid must result in some part of the excess “trickling down” into the purses of lesser mortals, rather after the manner of a champagne fountain, what actually seems to “trickle down” in real life are higher costs,  and that rather than improving the lot of the poor or of those people who are marginally getting by, “trickle down” actually worsens their situation.

Today’s (6/16) WSJ reports the same of two $70 million units in one of the new condo towers abuilding in Manhattan. For some time, I’ve been puzzling over this quandary: morning comes, time to go to the office or heliport or wherever; you check your To-Do list (more chewing gum for the fading trophy wife, something from JAR for the girlfriend) descend from your 80th-floor, $70 million aerie in a more-or-less-private elevator, emerge to much uniformed and tasseled bowing and scraping, clamber into your Escalade (Wealth Rule #7: the smaller the tycoon, the larger must be the vehicle) and now what? You’re stuck in the same miserable traffic as the rest of us schmucks, breathing the same polluted air, trying to hear yourself think over the ceaseless honking clamor of what must be the world’s noisiest city. This is what the immortal J. Durante would characterize as “a revoltin’ development.” And so one asks: can special, dedicated Limousine Lanes be far in the future? Another reason to read a marvelous book I’ve mentioned before: Moskowitz’s How to Kill a City. Did you know that under Bloomberg 40% of NYC was “rezoned” – ie. handed over to developers, usually with a fake “affordable” tax subsidy. That is some amazing number.

Interesting. The prediction of robots rising up and taking over has been around a long time. My first year at Exeter (1950-51) the Dramat put on R.U.R, a 1920 play by the Czech playwright Karel Capek. Humans invent robots (this introduced the word”robot”) which then rise up etc. etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R. For serious students of the history of American drama, let it be noted that I – who had been a matchless Scrooge and Sniggers (in Lord Dunsany’s A Night at an Inn) at Buckley – played a nursemaid. And badly.

When the Lady Wife and I read that Cecconi’s (a branch of Soho House, or – as it is known in this apartment – “Douchebag Central” or “DC”) had opened up in the Empire Stores, we decided to stroll across Water St. to #55 to have a gander. http://mailchi.mp/guestofaguest/finally-soho-house-brings-cecconis-to-new-york?e=fe7590a783 We’re neither of us foodies, but I had a special reason for going over there. Enzo Cecconi, the eponym for the DC chain, is an old friend. That is, he became a friend because he married Sarah Coleman, with whom I played a lot of golf at Cypress Point back when we were 15 and 16. We were exactly the same age (I was born 04/18/1936 and Sarah a day later). She came from a famous golfing home (her father George L. Coleman gave his name to the gilt-edged amateur tournament staged every year at Seminole). Over time, we drifted apart and then encountered each other in 1977, when I stayed at the Cipriani in Venice, where Enzo was the General Manager. Sarah had turned him into a golf nut; I recall going 18 with him at the Lido course across the lagoon. A year or so later, they left Venice and Enzo opened his namesake restaurant in London, back of the Burlington Arcade. It was terrific, and a huge success. Enzo kept it for 20-odd years, then sold it – he and Sarah built a big house in Pebble Beach – and then it got sold again, and finally ended up in the hands of DC, which attached the Cecconi name to a string of restaurants around the world, of which the version opposite where we live is the latest. So we had a reason for going above and beyond culinary curiosity, even though a perusal of the menu online disclosed the presence of vitello tonnato,  a dish of which I am uncommonly fond, and which I have difficulty finding in nearby restaurants.

So we went over and thereby experienced as revolting a restaurant experience as I have ever had, although I suppose it was guileless of me to expect otherwise, given the utter lack of class and manners that is as much a part of today’s urban young as those stupid fedoras they affect, who throng to “clubs” run by and for people who have no idea whatsoever what a proper club is like. When we entered the restaurant, we were practically blinded by the light reflected off a sea of empty tabletops. As our vision cleared, and could see what is by any standards a pretty elegant set-up (I think Enzo would be satisfied), a snooty voice informed us that “We’re not accepting walk-ins.” The latter term, which I hate, was made to sound like “lepers.” We pleaded that we were only dropping by to have a drink, but Ms. Snoot remained obdurate. “we’re not accepting walk-ins.”  To be fair, she was probably simply reciting a script prepared by the sort of social illiterates who use words like “exclusive” a lot. Anyway, there seemed to no point in arguing, so we left, vowing never to return (and we shan’t, vitello tonnato notwithstanding), and ambled over to AlMar, one of Brooklyn’s truly great, truly underrated restaurants, for a delicious dinner.

Returning home, my wife saw outside #55 Water St. what seemed, in the metaphorical sense at least, to be a queue of typical DC “FOMOs” (Fear of Missing Out) waiting to get in and photographed it for posterity.

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You have been warned. Assholes are as assholes do. And I should add a sad bit of news: my teenage golfing pal Sarah Cecconi died earlier this year at her home in Pebble Beach.
A confession: I continue to be unable to think, let alone speak the phrase”President Trump.”
Here’s an article that I find interesting and relevant in all its particulars, but especially (scroll through) in its suggestion of a way to look at Brexit from a “non-Yob” point of view: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/06/post-truth-its-pure-nonsense/

 

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