2022’s Good – and Grim – News

| 16 Jan 2022 | 06:54

Happy return – 2022’s here and I’m happy to report that things – well, some things – are looking good. First, Roma’s, the beloved and too-long gone pizza place is coming back. Originally located at the corner of 88th and Third, Roma’s moved midblock to a larger space and Otto’s Tacos took over the corner store. Roma’s had great pizza, great mussels and was always busy. Then came COVID and Roma’s was gone. Eventually Otto’s Tacos closed, and both spaces were empty for maybe a year. Now, the owners of Bocado, the restaurant wine bar on 87th and Lex, is opening Yasouvlaki, a Greek restaurant, at the original Roma’s corner location, and is expanding to the empty storefront next door, which has had several other occupants, including Jacques Torres Chocolate. The new Roma’s is opening midblock on 87th St between Third and Lex. And Bocado’s is their corner neighbor. The old midblock Roma’s will now be home to Popeyes which is getting closer and closer to opening. Hurry up, Roma’s, we miss your pizza. And hurry up Popeyes. The neighborhood needs you.

Now, for unhappy – The headline on the online Upper East Site Staff reported “Future Uncertain for Wankel’s Hardware after 125 Years as Building Goes On Sale.” Wow, that was a shocker! Wankel’s has been a vital part of Yorkville, as the headline tells, for more than a century. Located on Third Ave, between 87th and 88th St, Wankel’s is a do-it-yourself shopper store. Never trendy, its always been a mom and pop store and ownership of the building and store has remained in the family, so the sale of Wankel’s is being made by the Wankels with Cushman & Wakefield organizing the sale of the property consisting of 20 apartments and the hardware store. When Upper East Site contacted Wankel’s management, their comment was that “nothing is definite at the moment as far as store closing.” I guess it’s just a matter of when.

Introduction by card – Nowadays when someone says “calling card,” telephone cards come to mind. Traditionally, however, calling cards were thought of as business cards exchanged during formal introductions and intended for future contact. It usually had an individual’s name and title, a company or personal logo, phone, fax, email, website, social media info. The generic was simple black text on white stock. In the late 20th century, with technological advances there have been changes in the style and look of business cards, and they’re more visually distinctive. Recently I’ve had occasion to witness not only the nouveau business card a la Jerry Skurnik’s Engage Voters U.S., whose Prime Data campaign services have been merged into the new Engage Voters U.S. That has Skurnik’s name in uppercase all caps, company logo, ENGAGE VOTERS U.S., along with email, website and all the rest, and makes a candidate looking for campaign expertise want to make contact. Skurnik’s new venture includes his longtime partner Stuart Osnow and new partner Marc Zdadanow whose expertise is social media.

Now far from the generic and nouveau is the calling card of my very own brother-in-law Lewis Eisenberg, whose calling card is, shall we say, non-traditional. It’s on beige-y and brown card stock. It’s very specific and intended for immediate, must-have attention, no holds barred. While the card wasn’t intended for me, I got to see it when we were dining recently at a restaurant in Lewis’s hometown of Connecticut. Lewis gave the card to the server when it was his turn to order. The card reads: “FOOD ALLERGIES ALERT Some seasonings/foods make me sick:garlic, onions, red/black pepper, ginger. Also cumin, curry, chili, tumeric. Thank you for not using them in my food.” A calling card’s a calling card. And that’s Lewis’s. When I asked him how to describe him when writing all this, he responded that I could describe him “as not the Lewis Eisenberg who won the first NYS lottery, and not the US Ambassador to Italy – especially with an allergy to garlic.” Sound worthy of an addendum to the Food Alert?