Cindy Says: In its early days Cindy Adams, yes, THE Cindy Adams, wrote a gossip column for Our Town titled “Cindy Says.” It was sassy and fun and the talk of the town. My ex-husband and I were best buddies with Cindy and her husband THE Joey Adams. There came a time, in about 1979, when THE New York Post wanted Cindy to write her column for the Post. How could she not? Five dollars a week at Our Town. A local paper. Of course she would write for the Post but had one request. She wanted to continue writing her column for her friend Ed Kayatt’s Our Town. Then Post publisher Roger Wood said, or least suggested, “Huh?,” but after much musing agreed. When Cindy told Ed, I was elated. Ed would have none of it: “You’re fired, Cindy. Either you write for Our Town or the Post. Not both.” The rest is history.
Good lord: Lovely early Tues afternoon at 79th and 5th bus stop. Terrible traffic. Pope Francis and the UN Assembly were in town. No takers for the offer from well-coiffed, smartly tailored lady to share a taxi. It would take forever and cost a fortune. She did not want to be late for her duties at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church’s weekly luncheon where she has been a volunteer hostess for the last several years so she took the taxi herself to 55th and 5th where the church is located. Not only did the church luncheon volunteer bear the cost of the cab, but she had to pay $15 for lunch at the luncheon. Not very laudable.
Neighborhood markers: Not too long ago it seemed like almost every neighborhood had a Gap store. Maybe a CVS or Duane Reade. Definitely a Starbucks or two or three. Nowadays it’s a Whole Foods, a Fairway, a Fika, a Panera, a Blue Mercury, a TD Bank, a Santander bank. The latest trend in commercial tenancies in residential neighborhoods is street level urgent care walk-ins such as City MD, Pro-Health, and Urgent Care, which provide medical services during the day and evening and on weekends, but not 24/7. They do not replace primary care doctors. They are for emergencies or when a primary care physician is on vacation or unavailable. There is a City MD on 86th between 1st and 2nd. A Pro Health is coming to 90th and 3rd in Ruppert Towers in the corner space previously occupied by Lisa’s Hallmark. Another is coming to 3rd Ave between 22nd and 23rd Sts. An interesting evolution at this location. In the late 1970’s Pastrami & Things delicatessen was located in the same spot. The previous owner, Leo Steiner, became a partner in the Carnegie Deli. All these years later one hopes that the strains of pickling spices and smells of pastrami are long gone. Definitely not a prescription for a clogged artery or an emergency walk-in.
They have my number: After more than 30 years, Verizon has taken my valued 212 phone number from me and won’t give it back. All I wanted was to switch from Verizon to Time Warner Cable for different services. In refusing to let me keep my cherished 212 number, Verizon claims I abandoned the number when Time Warner failed to make the service call to my home to port the 212 number over to Verizon. So much for Time Warner Cable’s TV ads promising on time, good service. Now where does one go to get her/his 212 number back? It’s a reputation thing.
Pop up for blood: Not only are restaurants and galleries taking advantage of valued, empty real estate storefronts - so is the New York Blood Center. One day in early October they set up shop where the old Sam Flax store used to be on 55th and 3rd. A big sign beckoned donors. The office building at 900 3rd, where Sam Flax was, had a sign-in sheet at the concierge desk for those wanting to donate blood. One of the staffers at the blood drive told me that the CitiCorp Donor Center has a year-round location on the lower level of the Citicorp Building on 53rd and Lex. Give if you can.
Winning Judge: Manhattan’s Democratic District Leaders nominated Ta-Tanisha James to fill the countywide seat being vacated by Civil Court Judge Tanya Kennedy who has been nominated for Supreme Court. The other candidates for the Civil Court seat were Housing Court Judge Sabrina Kraus and court attorney Richard Tsai. Both will be among the contenders for next year’s openings. Let the judging begin.
Feedback: After my first column about Fairway 86th Street’s so-called “Café,” Yorkville Resident posted online that the building management would not allow a restaurant. My point was that Fairway should not call its take-out shop a cafe.
Arlene Kayatt’s East Side Encounters will run bi-weekly in Our Town. The column marks a return to Our Town for Kayatt, who has lived on the Upper East Side for more than 40 years. She worked for the paper from 1973 to 1986, as a reporter and as managing editor. Know of something she should include in the column? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org