late summer in the city

| 23 Sep 2016 | 11:51



Panhandler chutzpah — A shabbily dressed man ambled into an Upper East Side bagel shop. Most seats were taken and the lines indicated this was going to be a busy day in bagel heaven. The man walked over to a table where a young boy was seated and arranging the small square table for himself, his mom and dad. The man arrived at the table just as mom was putting wrapped sandwiches onto the table. Son quickly stood to take the hot drinks from dad and placed them on the table. The man walked up to mom and asked if she could get him a sandwich. Disconcerted, she looked at the sandwich in her hand and reached out to give it to him. “What’s in it?,” he wanted to know, sounding annoyed. “Uh, uh ...,” she started to respond, when the man said, “Don’t do me any favors, I like to pick my own sandwich,” as he moved along to prey at another table. Have it your way, sir. And try some other New York neighborhoods. Maybe SoHo, NoHo, the West Side, the Lower East Side. Maybe they’ll hand over the cash or accompany you to the counter so you can pick out your own sandwich and pay for it. And don’t forget a nice latte. Maybe panhandling will make the competitive cut as Manhattan real estate rises.

Sorry, no number — One of the biggest nuisances in New York neighborhoods is the lack of building numbers on many commercial and residential buildings. It’s really a pain when you’re going somewhere and can’t find an address. Guess landlords want to make it difficult to sue them if there’s no address to easily identify the location of their building or business. There ought to be a law or some requirement making it mandatory for buildings and businesses to identify the address of the location in a certain size lettering. I seem to remember that, when Scott Stringer was Manhattan borough president, something was getting done about it. Don’t believe it ever happened. Hope some public official takes up the cause.

Jack Russell’s Pub’s gives the dog a bad name — I know Jack Russells terriers and its namesake pub doesn’t do it proud. The breed is known to be fierce but charming as fox hunting dogs are. I’m no fan of fox hunting but Manhattan Jack Russells don’t fox hunt. There are a few of them about town. I like them. They’re nice. So I had kind thoughts when friends wanted to meet for Happy Hour at Jack Russell’s Pub on Second Ave in the 80s, a standard avenue sports bar with a traditional pub menu, glowering televisions and thumping music. Don’t know that happy hour’s all that happy, though. At least mine wasn’t. It’s from 4 to 8 p.m. I got there at about 6:45, ordered wine, and handed the server $10 expecting there would be change since Happy Hour was underway. When I wanted to order an appetizer, the server asked for my credit card. I said that I would give her the difference from the $10 in cash. She shook her head no. The wine’s $9. “But it’s happy hour,” I shot back. No response. Does that mean that a glass of wine at the bar or with dinner is $18 when there’s no happy hour? At Jack Russell’s Pub with its grub food and house wine? If I wanted to spend $18 for a glass of wine, I’d have stopped by Le Bernadin and had me a French Chablis or Riesling and not whined about being ripped off at happy hour at a pub named for a pup that deserves better.

Gas not — I love the Elinor Bunim film center in Lincoln Center. Only MoMA shows the type of films I usually prefer. When an Upper East Side reader went to Elinor Bunim to see “Little Men,” he smelled exhaust fumes from the moment he walked in. His wife didn’t. Smelled to him like the odors at Port Authority. Squirming through the film, the noxious smell seemed to abate and he soldiered to the end. When leaving, he told the usher. Apparently, there’s a road under the facility and the building’s engineers may have opened a vent in the area. Problem solved. I hope the reader’s thumbs down for “Little Men” had to do with the smell and not the film which I heard is an engrossing coming-of-age tale. The film had played at MoMA weeks earlier. If he had seen the film at MoMA, the smells more likely would have been coming from the food carts selling franks on East 52nd outside MoMA. Everything’s local.