Anything Trump: After reading Dan Fitzsimmons’s article in the Feb 25, Our Town, “In Central Park, Weighing Kids Against Donald Trump,” I couldn’t help but think of the Trump properties that span Manhattan. I always wonder just what, if any, interest The Donald has in their day-to-day operation. Trump Tower on 5th/57th is a down escalator ride away from bliss during the day. Yes, the same escalator that Trump and his wife descended to announce his presidential run. Not familiar with mornings or evenings in the luxe public space, but afternoon hours are quite busy. The surroundings are soothing and pleasant. A waterfall, marble walls and floors, cafeteria-style counter for hot and cold food; cafe for coffee, tea. Another counter for ice cream and pretzels. But what has impressed me most is the courteous staff, efficiency, cleanliness, and serenity of the all-day public venue. There’s a bar and grill restaurant with daily specials that has a separate entrance. What happened as I gazed around while having some iced coffee made me giggle and brought home what probably underlies all entities Trump that are or aren’t owned outright by the mogul -- money and a deal in the offing. On a recent afternoon, there was a large TV screen in the corner of the public space promoting Shen Yun at Lincoln Center. No sound. Just visual. Two women were seated at a table near the TV almost guarding the screen. When anyone sitting in the public area got up to leave, one of the women would come over and handed the departing a pamphlet promoting Shen Yun and asked if they would like to buy tickets. A no got a polite smile and thank you. To the women’s chagrin, at about 3 o’clock, one of the Trump Tower staff went over to the screen, unplugged, disabled and moved it so that it could not be used. The two women sought out the staffer who had done the deed. They explained that they had rented the TV screen for the day and had two more hours to go and wanted the TV screen back and promoting Shen Yun. The very nice staffer, without rancor or consulting a higher up, explained that the area was going to be used by a tourist group who rented the venue for the afternoon. They would be having dinner and then leaving for the theater. He offered that the ladies could come back the next day and the TV would be set up for them. Brightening up, the ladies asked in unison, “Can we come to the party, too? Maybe they want Shen Yun?” The art of the deal is in the air at anything Trump.
Of moules and men: Jacques Brasserie on 85th/ 2nd/3rd is a gracious enough place for an evening of moules and frites and wine. It’s usually busy. A woman called ahead for a 7 PM reservation for the same evening. She was told, at her request, that she could sit in the bar area where she always has dinner. She doesn’t like the other room. The two ladies arrived at 7. About three or four couples were seated at tables in the bar area. Don’t know about the back room. The host/maitre d’ informed the ladies that all tables in the bar area were reserved and that they could not be seated there. The lady who made the reservation was not happy but was willing to sit in the back room. The other lady, obviously rankled, said no, they were leaving -- two men or a man and woman would never be treated that way. After some back and forth about whether the table was actually promised and whether the lady had in fact called, the host/maitre d’ (make that gendarme) called a server to assuage the ladies. It worked. The ladies were seated at a corner prime table in the bar area. At no time during the evening did anyone honor their reservation at any other table in the bar room. Sipping wine, the ladies mused over moules and men and how the times they have not changed.
Nail tips: No mani-pedi for Danny Meyer if he tries to impose a no-tipping policy on nail salons. The hospitality entrepreneur will find himself up against some formidable backlash from the ladies who run the salons. Particularly several on the Upper East Side where signs are posted advising that you can pay your bill with a credit or debit card but must pay tips in cash. There’s something about the wording that makes tipping seem mandatory. Maybe not. But I leave the fight to Danny Meyer.
Remembering Jazzy: 12-year-old Yorkie, Jazzy, survived by his loving mom Cindy Adams and sister Juicy, left us this past week. He was sweet and gentle - all love and licks. I’ll miss him. Rest in peace.