Notes From The Carlyle – January, 2019

images.jpegIt’s the coldest day of the year so far, as I run into Bemelmans to warm my face that feels frozen, despite a cashmere scarf wrapped around it mummy style.
I’m surprised how packed it is at 2 in the afternoon, but realize, at 9 degrees with a wind chill of 12 below, brandy sounds a whole lot better than tea.
I order a Hot Toddie with lemon, honey and mint, the way my mother made one, when the warm brandy makes a double dent in your nostrils.
Suddenly my fellow bar drinkers switch to what I start to call, a Mother, on the rocks, the aroma of mint whirling round the room like wrists of working girls…those lei lady lays of the night.
A robust redhead seated one stool away, starts to chat. Drenched in green, her hair piled high like the Taj Mahal, Minnie, I’ll call her, lives in Dallas, here to do some shoppin’ and museum goin’, pronouncing museum…mu..ZE’um.
Sitting nice and tall bedecked in jewels that heave as she carps about the frigid cold, and how it’s a good thing she brought along her three minks.
“Why three, “I ask, picturing her wearing all three at once.
“A girl gets tie’od of wearin’ the same thang’, don’t ya agree?”
I so want to stick a pencil in her hair to see if it would stay, but instead, look down at my old Chanel skirt I took out for her seasonal spin and say, “Oh yeah, I sure do.”
I’ve always been fascinated by women like Minnie…rich, bored and unconscious. Reminds me of the quote…if you want to know what God thinks about money, look who he gives it to.
Popping into the Carlyle for me is always a treat at 20 bucks a drink, justified by all that it comes with: chips, the Madeline Murals, Kennedy lore and much more. It’s a pricey package deal leaving you sated with eras gone by.
Minnie, for me, is like parsley on a plate, her garish, lavishness lending a side of what’s unnecessary, like fries with a good steak, or one of those umbrellas that come in a kitschy cocktail.
I knew she didn’t even appreciate where she was since, too much breeds little grace, so when she invites me to dinner, I politely decline. Frankly, an hour of her inanity is way past my limit, her voice now mewling like Muzak in an elevator.
A gentleman in a snappy sports coat sidles up to her other side, making my exit easier.
“Are ya shu’er sweetie, ya don’t wanna come out ta’ dinna? You look like you could use a good mee’al…is that how ya stay so theein’…ya just don’t eeet?”
If I didn’t know better, why I’d think Minnie was making a pass, but as quickly as she repeats her offer, I see her hand on her new companion’s forearm as she orders…
two moa’ Mothas’, on the rocks, extra meeint’.  🙂

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 Culture, humor, money, New York City, women and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Notes From The Carlyle – January, 2019

  1. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Very funny !


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clever Girl says:

    What’s Bemelmans? Not that I want to spend twenty bucks on a cocktail… or that I’m in New York.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    It is nice to treat one’s self to a $20 cocktail once and again – and, in this case, you get the bonus of 1) warming up in a snazzy joint and 2) being able to observe a piece of parsley that is Minnie. Which is beneficial to us readers because you describe her so well, I can just picture her.
    I’m also thinkin’ she must be the same Minnie I saw in a jewellery store in St. Thomas. “Oh, Da-ye-ddy, y’all gotta upgra-ede. That there necklace you been wearin’ is jess too sma-ell! It is tahm to upgra-ede!” Lawsy… The lot (they were about 6 in their group) were just dripping in gold and jewels… and screamed rich and cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    And to think, you entered into the bar for a drink …. and never imagining a post would come out of it. I like the subtle jabs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your tales of life in NYC.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. robprice59 says:

    The idle rich! The lines of “Old Man River” spring to mind. Or Robert Tressell.
    Good piece, Susannah.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. skinnyuz2b says:

    Oh my gosh, Susannah. You tell this so well I felt like I was sitting beside you.
    I’ve known a few Minnies, including one of my cousins. She once complimented a top I was wearing. I told her she should like it since she bought it for my birthday. Her response? “Well if I’d known it’d look that good on you I wouldn’t have given it to you.” Just like Minnie she was clueless at what she’d just said. Of course, I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face.
    It’s a shame the Minnies of the world don’t get to enjoy the little moments of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s really true, isn’t it? When a person has too much, gratitude and appreciation get routinely buried. I’m certain, you loved that blouse she gave you, and if she had indeed kept it, it wouldn’t have been so special. A collective sigh for all the Minnies of the world.


  8. Sorryless says:


    I’m trying to figure on how to comment on this New York style piece of yours without gushing, since you don’t do compliments (And I totally get that, I do).

    Okay, it’s a Bronx Bombah win that sends ’em home happy.

    How’s zat?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vasca says:

    I’ve always wanted to drop into Bemelmans but I’d be a bit nervous being from Texas and Oklahoma. I don’t think I ‘ve a telltale accent/drawl but in New York? Who can say? Thankfully, I’ve not run into but one Minnie – especially since we live in the Metroplex. Like New York we have a huge diversity of nationalities so we don’t pay much attention to twangs, etc. I rarely see furs of any type.
    On second thought, if I’m in the Big Apple I I’ll make it a point to stop in and enjoy Bemelmans beautiful atmosphere. I’ve read a lot about it…there was a film on TV about the Carlyle that was really interesting and very well done. I always enjoy your notes about it.


  10. Oh, the tales that come out of the Big Apple. But nothing captures the moments like the way you sketch the scenes that play out before your eyes, Susannah. I loved imagining the kind of mayhem you could have accomplished with her hair by inserting a Dixon Ticonderoga into it. Then there was the way you described her as being rich, bored, and unconscious—the last word leaving the hilarious summation as to who she really was. A true joy to read. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Boredom is a sad life.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LOVE this quote … “if you want to know what God thinks about money, look who he gives it to.”
    I haven’t thought about a Hot Toddie in a very long time. My parents would give us one when we were sick — nothing like drinking whiskey with sugar at nine years old. All I remember is sweating and feeling better. Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.