East Side Observer
by ARLENE KAYATT
Calling Saul Steinberg — The New Yorker cover of March 29, 1976 needs some updating in a post-Trump America. Its illustrator Saul Steinberg, who died in 1999, immortalized a Manhattanite’s view of the world that began on Ninth Avenue and continued several avenues west to the Hudson River, would concur that the ascendency of Fifth Ave and 57th as the home of the United States’ 45th president has to be factored into that view, ya think? That would mean, of course, that the view would begin several avenues east of Ninth. Certainly, the eponymous edifice which 45 owns and where he and his family live gives a new perspective to the iconic Steinberg illustration. Moving the landscape eastward would make it more inclusive, not so much to the Manhattan-minded, but to the masses whose vote won the day in the Electoral College (no relation to Trump University) and who enjoy the amenities of Trump Tower. The iconic New Yorker cover was said to be a “View from Ninth Avenue” and came to connote the parochialism of sophisticated residents of their eponymous borough. As I now chat up tourists and other visitors to Trump Tower, who, like I, descend the escalator to the water-cascading, marbled-walled lower atrium where businessman Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy for president in June 2015, I find that they are now seeing Manhattan as a place they can come to and enjoy without feeling like outsiders. Before Trump was elected president, they felt looked down upon by Manhattanites and made to feel like they didn’t belong. Not so any more. The Man Upstairs has brought them into the fold, or so they believe: That voting for him and making him president gave them entree (the right to enter) to “his” world and entitled them to acceptance in “his” town, or at least the tower he owns even though Manhattanites voted unanimously against him despite that he was their state’s and their borough’s “favorite son” in the primary and in the November election. The late Mayor Edward Koch probably encapsulated the Trump mind-set best after losing the chance at a fourth term when he was quoted in the Daily Beast, “The People have spoken ... and they must be punished.” I’ll bet Trump shares the sentiment when it comes to his fellow Manhattanites.
Hail to the cab — To cab or not to cab? That was the question — yes, cab. Not Uber. Not Lyft. Not Via. Just a plain old NYC yellow cab, aka taxi. Waiting for a bus is a challenge I wasn’t up for on a starting-to-rain weekday morning. Plus time was too tight for the 30-block southbound ride from 90th Street. A cab letting off a passenger in my line of vision made the decision for me. “61st York and First, please,” I told the driver as I got into the cab. “Do you want to take the Drive to 63rd exit or go on York,” he asked. “York,” I responded. “Are you sure?,” he continued. “Yes, take York,” I repeated, as he then proceeded to 92nd Street and made a right onto the Drive to the 63rd St exit. Glad he asked. Glad I told him. Glad I was along for the ride.
Whose name is it anyway? — Lately I’ve been seeing restaurant delivery servers wearing shirts or jackets that do not have the name, address and phone number of the restaurant or delivery service for whom they are delivering. Not good. Not safe. Any restaurant that comes before any of Manhattan’s 12 community boards must agree to display the name, address and phone number of their establishment on shirts or jackets to be worn by delivery servers or they will be fined. And it’s a breach of a Department of Consumer Affairs law. Let the enforcement begin.
Getting blessed — Pets with people. Si. Pets without people. Nada. No solos. That’s the drill at Cindy Adams’s 8th Annual Blessing of the Animals. The usual suspects will be in attendance — the pampered pooches, the cuddly cats, the purebreds, the rescues, some birds, maybe a gerbil, a goat, and, of course, Cindy’s delicious New Yorkie Juicy — to be blessed by Central Synagogue’s Rabbi Emeritus Peter J. Rubinstein and Christ Church’s Senior Minister Stephen Bauman. The sanctuary is always SRO. No RSVP’s. WHERE: Christ Church, Park/60th WHEN: Dec. 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. Co-sponsors of the blessing event include John Catsimatidis, Baker Institute for Animal Health and Kathryn and Mary Kalikow. Accolades to all.
Changing times, names not so much — Several Whole Food staffers were laughing that some of their work schedules might change so that they’d be working 7 days a week, 11 hours a day, and wondered if that meant they’d also be working for “7-Eleven” stores. Mergers being on the upswing, they could be onto something.