Notes From The Carlyle – July

I know I said I was on a budget and I am, don’t kid yourselves, but in order to write my monthly Bemelmans piece I had to pay a visit. I used my birthday as an excuse. I mean a toast to myself was in order, don’t you think?

Last I was there there were hookers in the ladies room. Nothing quite as exciting this time around. They have still not replaced Tommy the long time bartender which makes perfect sense when you think about it. It’s a true testament to him that he’s not so easily replaceable.

They have the 2 part-time guys doing double duty unhappily I might add. Must be those little red jackets they have to wear. They could depress anybody.

I sat in a corner with a ginger-ale that quickly turned into a vodka and tonic. I mean I tried being thrifty but it felt sacrilegious not to be drinking while I was there. The bartender didn’t charge me for the ginger ale since I think he assumed it was flat. No I didn’t correct him, not at 6 bucks a glass I didn’t. Remember, you’re not in Kansas anymore once you find yourself nestled on an ice cold banquette. Just pretend you’re paying with Monopoly money, I find that helps. It’s all so surreal anyway when you’re there since it feels as if you’ve gone back in time 50 or 60 years. If Elizabeth Taylor strolled in with Richard Burton I wouldn’t be surprised.

I know they’re both dead. I was making a point.

The room was sparsely filled with couples in various inappropriate attire except for one elderly lady decked out in Chanel. There’s always one floating around. Sometimes I think they hire her just to add a little of the lost glamor to the place.

The people that stay there may have money but they look as if their trailers are illegally parked at the curb. Well it’s true.

One couple had on shorts and identical Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts. Their cans, as my mother would call them, were hanging off their bar stools like excess pie crust. It’s a pity one couldn’t pop over with a cleaver and trim it off. I’m just saying.

Another man came in pretending to look for someone.

Why do I think he was pretending?

I’ve seen him do this before. He must feel self conscious sitting there alone so he’ll make believe he’s waiting for someone who never shows up. He finally, after 2 quick belts, looks at his watch in exasperation, calls for the check then leaves.

Such drama for a measly drink.

A pretty girl came in weeping over something. To my annoyance she sat near me sniveling. I finally offered her Kleenex because I couldn’t stand it any longer. Blow your nose girlfriend would you please? He’s not worth all that snot pouring down your little face. No I didn’t say that, I wasn’t drunk enough to start giving out relationship advice.

To be young and in love can really suck but she clearly had money to be heartbroken in style so things could have been much worse.

She started to talk to me by saying she liked my shoes. (ah, the old shoe trick to get one’s attention)

Uh-oh, here it comes – the story followed by another tsunami.

Seems her boyfriend goes to Stamford and found himself another lady – a senior. Apparently she popped over to see him without calling first and there they were…yes they were.

I’d be drinking too.

What did I tell her?

That she was young and beautiful and he was a shit and that even though she didn’t know it, she’ll be in love again with someone much more worthy of her.

Then I told her to go shop. She liked that idea.

Let’s hear it for the resilience of youth.

Her tears made me think of Tommy.

See, Tommy couldn’t bear to see anyone cry, not even me.

He would have marched over to her with fresh chips and some cherries in a monkey dish to try to cheer her up. If that didn’t work he’d say something like, Has anyone ever told you you look just like Nicole Kidman? Didn’t matter if she looked nothing like her. I mean she could have had 2 heads and feathers and he would have still said that. The idea that he thought she looked like a movie star would dry most of her tears. We women are so easily deluded, thank God.

Yeah, he’s going to be hard to replace alright.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Fashion, History, humor, Love, New York City, sex, sexual relationships, women, Women and men and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Notes From The Carlyle – July

  1. I could sit there all day! Amen to delusion as well, I wouldn’t want it any other way.


  2. rheath40 says:

    Nice story Susannah. I would LOVE to pop over to the Carlyle for a drink with you some day. Oh , the fun conversations we could have. And the people watching we could do. We should plan for it. 🙂


    • I could see you there making notes. Sorry I haven’t been to your site. Behind on my reading. Always nice to hear from you Renee.


      • rheath40 says:

        No worries honey. I know you’re always close by. And yes I would be taking notes. I’d try really hard not to laugh at people too. BTW a vodka and tonic is my favorite summer time drink.


      • I only want a vodka and tonic when it’s hot with a million limes squeezed in. I also want to wear white while I’m drinking one. Go figure. Just got home from work. Could use one now.


      • rheath40 says:

        That sounds perfect Susannah. I love a lot of limes in mine too. I’ll wear purple and you wear white. We’ll look smashing.


  3. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Such a shame Tommy’s not there anymore. I suppose they don’t want the place turning into “Cheers” though. Seems like I’m missing out on a lot by not going out by myself for a drink, although I don’t know of any bars around here with that kind of atmosphere (I can guarantee no one will be in a bar in these parts sporting Chanel).


    • They got rid of Tommy because he did make mistakes after 55 years. And Chanel, that I like in theory, really looks old and dowdy when worn in full. One of her vintage jackets over jeans can be cool but that’s it. There are no good hotels where you live?


      • D. D. Syrdal says:

        I’m sure there’s nothing here in Portland to compare with Bemelmans.There are some downtown that are a little more upscale, but they’re not really conveniently located for me. Still sad about Tommy. After 55 years, you’d think they could find another position for him if he wasn’t ready to retire.


      • I know, but it’s owned by a corporation now so warmth is at a low.


  4. Jed says:

    Ah yes, a throwback to the Copa, El Morroco, et al. Good place to give advice. Hoping she benefitted.


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