The Gritty King of New York

By | on Jun 30, 2021 | No Comments

Abel Ferrara, the ghoulishly looking American film director, whose film The Bad Lieutenant has been a perennial favorite ever since I first saw it in the early 90s, especially for Harvey Keitel’s riveting tour de force performance, is one of the most eccentric and cryptic figures I’ve met. From his fertile mind, has poured a ...

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Murder, He Wrote

By | on Apr 14, 2021 | No Comments

Some of my most memorable encounters at Trattoria Dell’Arte happened serendipitously. Like the time I met Abe Feder, one of America’s first modern “lighting designers” who devoted himself to a life of illumination lighting virtually everything he touched, including the Broadway theater, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Empire State Building. Or the time ...

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Not Just Another Good Looking Man

By | on Mar 27, 2021 | No Comments

I always thought Sam Shepard would have made a terrific Marlboro man—sans mustache—had his life not taken the career path it took. But thank goodness for us all, Shepard became so much more. He was not only a marvelous actor with at least 50 movies to his credit, including The Right Stuff—for which he earned an Academy Award ...

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My Girl

By | on Mar 26, 2021 | No Comments

Raquel Welch was—and still is—one of the most beautiful women I have ever met. I had a crush on her since I was a boy and always enjoyed watching her films—even if most were flops—just to see her move across the screen. She had so much sex appeal that it oozed from her pores. She ...

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Est-ce vraiment toi Moreau?

By | on Mar 20, 2021 | No Comments

Jeanne Moreau was one of my favorite actresses. When she was in town, she often came to dine at Trattoria Dell’Arte, preferring to sit in the smoking section near the restaurant’s front before they banned it in New York. But I did not realize who she was until months later when I began chatting with ...

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Love is A Many-Splendored Thing

By | on Mar 19, 2021 | No Comments

Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson were two of the most loving couples I had ever seen together. They were madly in love, and we could see this unfold when it all started. The initial sparks of their relationship began on the Broadway stage in a production of Eugene O’Neill’s “Anna Christie.” Richardson was the daughter ...

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Rutger the Menace

By | on Mar 18, 2021 | No Comments

Rutger Hauer was the most menacing actor I have ever met. In the mid to late 80s, I was living on the Upper West Side in New York, in a brownstone owned by Alexander Smalls, who was known more as an opera singer then than the chef he is today. I shared the basement floor ...

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A Family Affair

By | on Mar 15, 2021 | No Comments

I started working at The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center after a few restaurant stints elsewhere in the late 90s. And if there’s one thing about The Sea Grill—aside from its food, that made it so special—was that it was situated next to the ice skating rink where diners could sit and enjoy their meals ...

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Not Just a Tough Guy

By | on Mar 14, 2021 | No Comments

One actor who made a great impression on me was Charles Bronson. He was the epitome of cool—terse, stoic, and macho. Bronson had carved out a successful career in Hollywood by playing heroic tough guys, but that success didn’t come until much later when he starred—at the age of 52!—in Death Wish (1974), which became ...

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Monday at the MET

By | on Mar 11, 2021 | No Comments

When Tishman Speyer bought Rockefeller Center—previously owned by the Japanese Mitsubishi Estate—Jerry Speyer decided to overhaul the entire complex and give it a makeover. Unfortunately, this closed the center, including The Sea Grill restaurant, where I had worked for a couple of years. Before this happened, Paul Emmett, one of Restaurant Associate’s Vice Presidents, approached ...

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