Allan Sherman-esque-Buy 1 get 3 free

Allan Sherman-esque. Buy 1-get 3 free!

Hello Muddah,

Hello Fadduh,

Here I am at Camp Flor-ah-da.

It’s not so -entertaining,

They say I’ll have some fun if I stop complaining.

I went walking- with Jenny Eliasis.

She developed a bad case of psoriasis.

You remember- Shirley Skinner.

We are meeting for the early bird dinner.

All the sales people -over at the Walmarts – snuck in for me an extra dozen urine charts.

Now I don’t want this,

should scare ya.

But my roommate has a bad case of diar-rhe-a.

You remember- Joanie Hardy.

They’re about to organize a searching party.

Take me home, oh muddah, fadduh, take me home.

From Camp Flor-ah-da.

Don’t leave me, at the casino.

Someone next to me forgot to take their beano.

Take me home I promise –

I wont make noise or mess the house with daubers (bingo.)

–So please don’t make me stay, I’ve been here one whole day.–

Wait a minute, it stopped raining.

I think I like the music in the pool that they’re playing.

Playing mah Jong and Canasta- who knows with bridge I could become a masta.

So dear muddah and dear fadduh.

Hold your horses,

I seem to like it better. – I even started knitting a navy sweater.

I just watched -Bye Bye Birdie.

Go know, I ran into Auntie Gertie.

So for right now- wait till I call.

Someone asked for me to play some Pickleball.

Love, me!

Food and…

Shelly Fireman- 212-308-8174
With Paul, Lenny and Murray kibitzing at the next table about how they met you and who knew you way back to the days of stick ball and Johnny on the Pony, the evening began. We walked into the Fireman Group’s splendid new venture. A beautifully appointed room, a stage setting for what looked like a grand scene from a Coppola movie. A staff of beautiful people appeared to be auditioning for a role in “Cafe Society ” a la Fireman. We marveled at how everything old is new again. The panoply of flowers and leather banquets combined with well shined brass and mirrors helped to create the setting. We comfortably nuzzled into our booth glanced at ourselves in the mirror, smoothed down the cowlick on our bangs and hung our hat.

Everything slowed down, albeit quickly came flooding through in thoughts.

I met Shelly Fireman in 1977. I walked down a few steps into the old Le Drugstore, the new Cafe Tartufo. I had an appointment to interview for a job. I was 27 years old and waiting for my real estate career to take off. I distinctly remember his buttonless denim shirt that flowed over his very cool looking jeans. It completed the picture in my mind of a well dressed beatnik. I was impressed. I thought ok Village Voice and Allen Ginsberg move over, I got this gig down. And so I was hired as his “assistant .” Little did I know this meant wearing lots of (hold on to your hats) and learning a whole new set of “Peas and Q’s.” I love food and the environment in which it is created. Still do, always will. So I bought a new pair of jeans and realized this was not a sit behind a desk as an assistant, just anywhere job.

I learned a lot about the hospitality business, in the “back of the store” way. The people I got to meet were foodies in every sense of the word. They cooked it, wrote about and designed the hardware to display the food. This is actually where the taste buds begin.

Shelly gave me a taste tester allowance as part of my job. I would go to other food shops and eat my way to a worthwhile review to present to him the next day. I also got to know the staff of sales people at the men’s dept. at Bonwit Tellers, very well. This was his go to store for even the simplest of cravats. If there is such a thing. Shelly’s creativity transcends to so much more than how to present a great bowl of pasta or who to hire to whip up the anchovy sauce for the mozzarella en carroza. Fritto misto

let’s try it with carrots. Ok, he would say, now add less sauce. As sybaritic pleasures go, great food and how it dances off the plate is way up there.

Fast forward 40 plus and I’m still holding on to my hat years later. I am still eating in his stores. Our friendship still real and long lived. Without a doubt his bride for the better part of his ride – Marilyn Fireman has held his attention, respect, devotion and love. She is his greatest success, his longest lasting pleasure and the prototype for the cherry on top of the Tartufo. Without her his tale would not have unfolded as the success story it is.

She is beautiful, talented and saint like in her patience. Brava Marilyn.

On Sept 7, 2001, Ira and I stood under the Chuppah on the

roof top of his 57th street restaurant, appropriately titled Shelly’s. This building housed the put a quarter in the little glass door and take your piece of cherry pie Automat style. Who doesn’t have an Automat story?

So a part of me feels possessive, as old friends often do. Not in like a claiming ownership way, but more of a I was there as the under belly of this empire was in its empirical stage. And ”you’ve come a long way baby.”

So my dear friend, with every morsel of good wishes shared, every memory of Gael Greene’s reviewing Fiorellos greatest pizza pie, (like her hats were ever a disguise)- every take- out order I brought out to Bill Berkeley to bring home to Marge and my thoughts will it make it home, every time you told me what a bad typist I was ( hello Apple where were you in the 70’s, I say Mangiare e Bene. Simchas biz hundert tzvanzig.

The Queen!

Come along “Cabbage”- “Burmese” is waiting to usher you back into our sunset. My Lady, Your Majesty, My Love.

Philip Mountbatten RIP
Her Majesty the Queen aka “Cabbage” to her Prince.

Lost the charm on her arm, now a huge major miss.

99 years strong, 73 the Queen’s consort.

Third cousins as they were, ruled the highest of courts.

The Royal Navy was his calling,

Through the Second World War.

Irascible and tough minded, never the bore.

For seven Decades plus the Duke of Edinburgh was anointed.

The man of “her” hour he was happily appointed.

The horses and corgis took mere second place.

As the grandkids walked in and put the smile on his face.

Can only suppose the regime at Balmoral.

Became much less stuffy with Prince Philip as the corporal.

Her Majesty, the Queen was married when a Princess.

Will cantor through life with the status of Prince-less.

Moment by Moment

We walked into our building the other day and one of our doormen, whose name happens to be David, called us over to let us know he has been meaning to tell us something. We listened as he proudly shared the wonderful news that his son Eric had recently become a Bar Mitzvah. He told us we could watch the service on You Tube and the theme for the party was all Baseball. We stopped in our tracks, wished him a big Mazel Tov and went upstairs to our apt.

We were thrilled for him and confused as we didn’t know he had children or much else about him. He always greeted us with a smile and we exchanged pleasantries as he handed us our Amazon packages.

Schools have opened up, the streets are bustling with children walking with super sized back packs and after school snack money in their pockets. Things feel re-booted, still left of center but closer to a familiar time, pre pandemic.

Back to several days ago when David called up to let us know our sushi dinner, that we ordered was here. Ah, the Bar Mitzvah. So we ate dinner and sat down to watch David’s son Eric become a Bar Mitzvah. Can’t make the names up for those in the know. We kvelled as Eric read from the Torah, sang along, silently prayed and sent a shout out upon request from the Rabbi to Hashem for our forever ago friend Rommy Revson who passed away yesterday. Baruch dayan emet. Oh, Rom.

We listened as David’s wife spoke about their son and we cried for their pride in him.

Moral of story -bottom line-it, grab moments of pleasure, now more ever especially in these precarious days with so much uncertainty.

So we got some paper, wrote a mazel message, put some gelt into an envelope for Eric and went downstairs to have a “Minchin by you Moment.”This time the blessing in disguise came with a shout out in the lobby from a very familiar face, albeit in concept a stranger. Make it a schepp nachas for no longer a stranger kind of day. We are all a community and hashtag stronger together. It’s a reach out to someone dear kind of day. Bh

See ya Summer!

Repost on an end of summertime day!
When the leaves were orange and the living was easy. What does the tooth fairy do with all the teeth? Why do the people in the front of the picture appear so much larger than the people toward the back? Out of the mouths…when life was oh so mellow.

We bought our first pair of silk stockings which were to be held up by a stretchy pink and white striped garter belt. We felt so mature. Oh the days of Ozzie and Harriet, Susan Lucci, Soupy Sales and Wally and The Beav. We had “One Life to Live.”

We re-dialed, after our friends line was busy the first time and screeched with excitement, Conrad Birdie style, over our anticipated coed- girl/boy party that evening in Daren Scott’s basement. We will always miss Daren.
After we sat under a hot dryer with beer can sized rollers in our hair we brushed away the fumes from our eyes left by Aqua Spray. The decision to curl our hair rather than iron it straight was a good one, our hair came out just right. Getting ready “Was” the excitement. Our new madras blouse and alpaca sweater hung prominently in the front of our closet right above our shiny, new cordovan colored weejuns. Bright, new Penny, dated 1969 heads up in place.

A touch of revlon blush, a glimmer of “coffee bean” lipstick proceeded a spritz of Shalimar and we were on our way. With dejavu on our breath we can still recall euphorically how it felt when we unbuttoned the wooden clasps that kept our new Pea Coat in tact. The boys gathered on one side of the room, as the girls sifted through the 45’s on the other. At this point there was no bottle to spin in sight. Would the Angels sing tonight as our soldier boys danced under the Blue Moon? Wah a Watusi. It’s the dance made for a romance.

The specialty years of pre-teening encapsulated so many of our trial and error moments. Being in a click helped dissipate the error parts, we were all in it together. We made room for our daydreams laced with Johnny Mathis lyrics and we did get Misty. Our Barbie and Ken’s were repositioned and left to fetch for themselves in the back row of our minds. In the “still of the night” we hold tight to the memories that Jay and the Americans knew were those Magic Moments. Make it a fun Sunday.

Our Gramps💙

“The radio and the telephone and the movies that we know may just be passing fancies and in time may go – but oh my dear our love is here to stay.”If I could clone “Grandpa Ira,” every grandchild from near and far would be inoculated with a locked in love and a fail proof, safe haven. Side effects Prodigious Proportions of sharing, caring and lingering on the sunny side of street. 

One day we woke up and the miasmic film like filter that shrouds the cataracts of life was gone. Our foresight replaced hindsight allowing us to see the forest in spite of the trees. I wish this on everyone.


We would run into their home always overflowing with the smells of Shabbos on the stove, cookies in the oven and ripped toilet paper in a box, next to the toilet bowl. Symbolic of a Jewish Home on the week-ends. Zada sat on his over-stuffed chair surrounded by prayer books. We would fall into his smile, his warmth. He particularly cuddled my sister Roberta. She was the youngest and so curly haired adorable. We watched him read, we observed him in prayer. Our backs were covered as G-d had to be listening, he did it so well. Rabbi Irving Gottlieb presided over a congregation in a shul in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. In the 50’s, early 60’s it was a predominantly Jewish and Italian “good” neighborhood. He also owned a rabbinical artifacts shop on Rivington Street on The Lower Eastside. We would visit him on Sundays and once again was greeted with a big smile. He couldn’t wait to hand us a hard candy from a dish he had on the counter. What fun we had. In our early days growing up we were traditionally observant. My mother kept a kosher home. Her father was a kosher butcher. We were frum, Devout and pious Jewish people. On Passover mom koshered the kitchen from head to toe. She changed the dishes and utensils. She lined the refrigerator and cabinet shelves with oak tag. The food strictly kosher for Passover. Matzoh Brei our favorite, our biggest request. All we knew is that the dishes were not as pretty as our every other day dishes. Green glass was just not our taste. Our memories are of very long Seders where we were so hungry that eggs dipped in salt water tasted so good. I cherish those days. Then it all changed. Our taste of orthodoxy, our world as we knew it was over. We moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey and our affiliation to strong observation paled. My father was the only son of an orthodox Rabbi. He had 5 sisters.We moved from our solid roots when he radically decided to join a reformed temple. Our lives would change forever in how we observed Judaism. Somehow we followed his lead, as we respected our father. We all stayed strong to tradition. Holidays and their loveliness have resonated throughout our lives. We came together for dinners, we worshipped and practiced our faith in a different format.What is the “chosen” people in G-d’s eyes? We sang and we prayed to him in our own hearts, albeit in a different format but not in a different way. As fate unfolded I am blessed to have 8 grandchildren through marriage. They are orthodox and very observant. I have moved much closer to my very observant roots now. We live life sequentially. Fate brings us to situations at different times in our lives. There are no coincidences. I strongly believe in G-d and a divine order. I feel my faith so intensely thru the blessings of grandchildren who run into my house threaded with familiar smells and traditions. They fall into our smiles, our warmth – as I did on Rabbi Gottlieb’s lap in 1958. Zada, I smile big as I hand them candy sitting prominently on my counter. I wish this on everyone. Hashtag Blessed.

Make Thursday Fun!

Staying connected to our souls as the Thursday-end of summer goal. With adventures displayed daily through the eye of photo shop on social media, i.e. Instagram and Facebook, we travel guide through the elaborate display of someone else’s life. As the carpe diem magnet stares back at us from our refrigerator door we put down our electronics, pick up our latest book and go on a new journey. Daily pictures of summer trips to Portugal, the latest sneaker fashion trend, what your friends Aunt did on her 98th (bh) b-day, and a stranger’s newly painted front door-become as routine as the morning paper and orange juice. The flowers in Lady X’s garden or the smile on Mr. B’s grandchildrens (no visiting day) faces have replaced “All My Children” and our voyeuristic interest in Erica’s choice for an eighth husband. So when your grandchildren return from a summer trip and come over for Legos and Lunch, listen carefully when you hear- “I love being here so much, it feels like I never left.” Take defining moments like these to log out of anyone elses newly painted front door and walk through your own with your head high and your Lucky smile. Grass greener seekers need not apply. Make someone else’s day -get to Rye Play-land when the gates open wide.

Throw in a Whiskey Sour!

Melancholy and Marvelous

Our mother loved FOOD- shopping, unpacking, organizing the refrigerator,preparing, cooking, eating, wrapping leftovers, eating, cleaning out the refrigerator. Sara Lee and Entenmanns cake boxes were scotch taped closed. She studied food and became a dietItian.
Studied some more and with her masters degree was titled nutritionist. Then got an M.S.W. In social work at the age of 50. We think she wanted to figure out through research why food was always top of mind.

We relied on radishes cleaned and in Tupperware with French dressing as an after school snack. Sometimes we opted for Buitoni Raviolis, yum as we think about it now.

We waited around and did homework until dinner. We came to expect something breaded, something fried with Le Seur Peas and a baked sweet potato. We looked forward to broiled baby lamp chops- We still do. Snowballs, hostess cupcakes, twinkies, drakes ring dings, yodels -yum and yum. Euphoric gastronomic recall. She saved the Lindt Chocolate for her card games.

As the culinary seed was planted we waited for it to sprout into our type of cuisine. We too love food. However, everything else around it feels equally as appealing. We have an extensive salt and pepper shaker collection.
Varied, and meaningful. Collected from places we’ve been, antiquing and given to us as gifts. Some are antiques, several glass, some ceramic. Betty Boop and Harley Davidson sets hang out in my cabinet together. Dishes, silverware and amber glass represent our treasured items.
Flowers and table settings add to the allure of our meals. Our collection of soupcons (fancy serving ladles) makes us smile.

Shopping for the ingredients and researching who has the best mozzarella and filet mignon a past time. Aligning the seats for comfort and space adds to the canvas. We make sure the creases in the napkins are well pressed
and the water glass is properly situated. We light candles and get dressed. We then set up the ice on the bar and cut lemon slices. All the time this is going on we have the oven on, the flames on low and check our “something” breaded, something fried.” We learned from The Best. Miss you mama especially today.