Notes From the Carlyle…January 2020


I’m having a melancholy Friday, yearning for all things gone, like my old neighborhood for instance.

They’ve knocked down the block across from where I lived, leaving this vast emptiness, feeling as if 40 years of my life, went along with it.

But Bemelmans is still what it’s been for 71 years – restored, preserved, and left untouched.

I float through the revolving doors that, if they only talked,  Unknown-1.jpeggettyimages-919988678-1534966522.jpg could tell us a tale or two.

Tommy, the long time bartender, who died in 2012, I swear I still see, polishing glasses with a bar towel, giving me his best Irish wink.

Good to see ya Lassie, I hear him say.

Laurie, his successor, when my reverie clears, smiles as I perch myself on a stool.

“Well hello stranger, I mean it’s you isn’t it?” she says, smirking like a cat. “I’m pretty sure, cause you never, ever change.”

“That’s because, when you walk in here, time stands still Laurie. Don’t you know that?”


“I wish, but I’m still not drinking.”

“That’s the worst thing you can tell a barmaid.”

“How bout a Pimms cup, without the Pimms.”

“That’s the second worst, but I’ll make it anyway.”

Wasn’t sure how it was gonna taste, with just Ginger ale, lemon, mint and cucumbers, but I was about to find out.

Boy, being sober sucks in more ways than one when I take a swig and my cheeks pucker.

“Do I look like a Cabbage Patch Doll?” I ask Laurie.

“Yes, as a matter-of-fact. Just a very tall, thin one, which reminds me, you still eat chips, right?”

“You bet,” I say, “and now you’re talkin.”

It’s still early, but because it’s the start of a long weekend, the place is pretty filled. I listen to the two guys next to me who offer to buy me something, a little more substantial, is what the one nearest to me says.

Just my luck, but It reminds me of one of my favorite jokes.

A guy says,”Hey cupcake, can I buy ya a drink?” And she says,” No, but I’ll take the 3 bucks.”

Goes to show you how old it is. Now I’d have to change it to, no, but I’ll take the 20 bucks.

I start to giggle.

The other guy looks at me, his shaved head like a huge cue ball bouncing in the overhead light. “You’re not even drinking and you’re laughing,” he says, “that’s impressive. Maybe I should have what you’re having.”

This made me remember another one.

“Wanna hear a joke,” I ask them, sipping my Pimmless Pimms.

“Sure,” says Baldy, “why not.”

A man walks into a bar, and says to the bartender, “I wanna buy that douchebag over there a drink.” The bartender says, “That’s not very nice sir.”

But he says it again. “I want to buy that douchebag a drink!” The bartender finally goes over and says, “The guy at the end of the bar would like to buy you a drink.”

“Great,” she says.”I’ll have a vinegar and water, straight up.”

They both look at me, then at each other before losing it, like I’m Joan Rivers back, for one night, from the ether.

Baldy then says, “You’re this funny, and you don’t even drink?”

This makes me smile.

Who said you need to be three sheets to the wind to be the life of the party?

“Laurie, I’ll have another Pimms without the Pimms…

easy on the lemon.”    images-1.jpeg


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 alcohol, comedy, Culture, History, humanity, humor, New York City, Women and men, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Notes From the Carlyle…January 2020

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, you are funny. I shared those two jokes with Pookie. Remembering times past must be in the air.
    Yesterday I posted a photo from the 60s of a nearby area (Glens Falls/Queensbury). All you see is farmland where a 4 to 6 lane bypass now resides. I was reminiscing about how different it was when I was growing up. My father (almost 93) grew up in an era that we can never know. I suppose some day my children will also look longingly at the past.
    Now I’m gathering my strength to hostess around 45 people for a baby shower here today. My youngest daughter is in charge of decorations, mimosas, and one game. I hate shower games, but gave in to one. She, my daughter-in-law, and youngest son’s girlfriend helped me shampoo the furniture and carpets, polish the woodwork, and dust and rehang the curtains. Everything is done except baking the ham, making the fruit dish, and a huge antipasto. Pookie and I leave in ten days for Florida and I plan to do nothing but soak up the sun and relax. Calgon, take me away. Around St Patrick’s Day we’ll welcome baby Zayne.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    You have made me feel the nostalgia along with you. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are too much, Susannah. Like an excellent comic, you knew your audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorryless says:

    I admire your ability to go without as per alcohol. Chips? I do not blame you one bit for that weakness, as I suffer from it as well.


  5. Dale says:

    Good for you on keeping on without getting it on, so to speak. Who says one needs alcohol to be funny? Loved the two jokes, Miss Comedienne!
    I’m with you on the chips… they are addictive.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So many memories in your piece. From the Pimm’s Cup to the conversation. I sure miss NYC.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Was funny, though…
    But, then again, $20 for that drink…that was not so funny.
    Glad I don’t drink or drink drinks without the drink.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Patricia says:

    I haven’t been in a bar in a long time and guess it will stay that way considering the cost of a drink these days. Good for you for sitting in a bar and staying nonalcoholic. You are a strong woman.
    FYI I have been reading all your posts but you don’t know that because I haven’t been commenting. Trying to limit computer time…I am a computerholic and trying to stay sober. Addictions come in many forms😾

    Liked by 1 person

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