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Ah, my draft file. Lesson 2 in the Church of Cole Porter series: Camp? I know I don't know enough about that yet. Japonisme, one of the cultural movements of the last fin-de-siecle? Also research. More paintings from DIA? Not so much research as do I use my own pics (which will make you a little dizzy) or do I replace them with the DIA images? John Singer Sargent and homoerotic content based on a picture I took at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Right. Research.

So instead, a reminiscence and an anecdote inspired by cohenzee's travel plans from last night. About this restaurant, apparently risen from the ashes, because apparently there has to be a restaurant bearing that name next door to Carnegie Hall.

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We liked it there. Jim would always have the beef Stroganoff, I would usually have the chicken Kiev unless it was one of the pelmeni days. They also made a very good Danish Mary using akvavit instead of vodka. We'd go for lunch a couple of times a year, or we'd go after theater. Not enough for anyone to get to know us. This is why this anecdote is VERY clear in my mind now, almost 40 years later.

By 1975, Jim's mother had started to come to Manhattan to visit us the same weekend my parents came to visit us. We'd generally have dinner out one night, or we'd go to theater and then have supper after. This particular Saturday night, we went to two different theaters: my parents and I went to see A Little Night Music, which I had seen with Jim and his mother the last time she came to Manhattan, Jim and his mother went to see something else (he'd remember, but I don't have a medium on call). We arranged to meet at the Russian Tea Room after. At some point that afternoon, it turned out that my father and I had each reserved a table for 5 there. He said "Don't bother" but I called the restaurant and explained what had happened, and they thanked me. I just didn't know how much.

In those days, the dining room was mostly two-tops and four-tops, but there were two booths right in front, on the left looking toward the back of the room. You knew these were for favored patrons and celebrities, and that was demonstrated by the fact that one of the booth had a picture of the impresario Sol Hurok (Hurok represented pretty much everyone, especially Russian performers), who had recently walked on, in a black border, hanging on one of them. When my parents and I got to the restaurant, Jim and his mother were already there, sitting in the booth with the picture of Hurok. "That was nice," I thought. Supper went on as planned, although a dessert Jim usually ordered that came in a champagne glass arrived in a bowl (and twice as much of it). But what was funny was that the famous people in the restaurant -- Peter Cook, Woody Allen --were saying good night to us because if we were sitting there one or more of us had to be someone important. THAT was fun.

A number of years later we were having lunch at the Russian Tea Room when we saw Linda Lavin walk in to be seated in the second booth. Immediately we began to wonder who  had reserved a table that outranked her. We found out a few minutes later when Mary Tyler Moore arrived.

So those are my antics. No YouTube involved. See? I can write short too.

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TOP COMMENTS, April 19, 2014: Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU when you find that proficient comment.

From a2nite:

I wasn't sure why Sen. Reid's motivation was regarding his comments. Now I have a better idea thanks to this excellent comment made by LeftHandedMan.  Also flagged by greenbird and Denise Oliver Velez.
From your diarist, Dave in Northridge:
Flagged by Bensdad: annieli's response (with graphic) to Vita Brevis in kos's Saturday Hate Mail-a-Palooza.
Flagged by dougymi: radical simplicity explains that Phyllis Schlafly is part of a long con being played against ordinary Americans in zenbassoon's diary, Phyllis Schlafly Gets Schooled By A Twelve Year-Old.
Flagged by wishingwell: jnww's perfect response to MartyM in Vetwife's diary, Tea Party Militias plan American Spring
TOP MOJO, April 18, 2014 (excluding Tip Jars and first comments):
  1) of course they're terrorists by Dave in Northridge — 183
  2) The President should do something more low-key by Califlander — 168
  3) Dana seems to miss by gchaucer2 — 160
  4) I'm trying to get my head around this ... by twigg — 151
  5) To Fox, they're "patriots" by Dallasdoc — 149
  6) With a banner reading....."BITE ME" by skillet — 140
  7) You are probably the only Political figure that by roseeriter — 133
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  9) At least Obama by joy221 — 132
10) I will say this by Grizzard — 131
11) This is incredibly important information! by ypochris — 125
12) How can they be patriots by howabout — 118
13) The topper for Dana by Nebraska68847Dem — 108
14) He'll stay in the Senate by Witgren — 100
15) 75% of the gun owners here by weezilgirl — 99
16) White House Spokeswoman who didn't by JoanMar — 89
17) The SCOTUS decsion.... by princesspat — 89
18) One aspect of this Bundy ranch seems sort of by HoundDog — 88
19) Can't speak for other members of by Denise Oliver Velez — 88
20) Sobering to read how the Koch brothers by JaxDem — 87
21) Have to agree with Harry. by mrsgoo — 84
22) what if Bundy's henchmen were Black? by MartyM — 84
23) Easter is an unholy war against pagan fertility by ontheleftcoast — 82
24) It's very simple: by zenbassoon — 83
25) Tell it like it is, Senator!  We depend on your by ncarolinagirl — 80
26) I think they're still trying to figure out by riogrande — 78
27) Another Unexpected Consequence...... by snapples — 77
28) Off the Hook for Armed Insurrection by DocGonzo — 77
29) I don't think so. by Youffraita — 74
30) I suggested last nite... by CanisMaximus — 73
31) She's also one of my favorites by joedemocrat — 74
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