Monday, December 27, 2004

Katz's -- Now and Forever

Had a great pastrami sandwich yesterday at Katz's Deli on the Lower East Side. Katz's (that's how they spell it) has been open since 1888 as is famous for two things:

1) Their slogan "Senda Salami to Your Boy in the Army." (Senda is one word)

2) This is where they filmed the "I'll have what she's having" scene from "When Harry Met Sally."

Their business practices haven't seemed to change much since the nineteenth century. Upon entry you're given a little pink ticket. Then you go from counter to counter getting what you want. Pastrami sandwich? Over there. You want potato salad? Over there. Chicken Noodle Soup? Over there. A soda? Over there.

All the while your trundling a little tray carrying all the items you've ordered while fighting the crowd and trying to snag a seat. (Was this where the word "schlep" was created?) The food is great and it's all worth it.

I saw the matinee performance of Michael Fryn's new play "Democracy" which examines Willie Brandt's time as the Prime Minister of West Germany. It's an intriguing play that has less to do with German politics and more about the universal qualities of democratically elected leaders, why they are who they are, what we expect of them and what that does.

I had an excellent seat -- front row in the center. I normally like sitting as close as I can, but yesterday I found myself obsessing over questions not related to the play.

For instance, Why is the right leg of Richard Thomas' costume business suit hemmed a full one inch higher than his left leg? Lazy tailor or costumers trick? (Since his was the only costume so-hemmed I decided L.T.)

Why does James Naughton's right thumb have a band-aid? (Unanswered mystery.)

What's going to happen when one actor pouring a glass of wine misses the glass and pours it over the other actor's hand? (The other actor wipes it off on his properly hemmed pants.)

Then I saw the evening performance of the revival of "La Cage aux Folles." I have to admit I was dubious about seeing it. I was worried that it would be dated and full of stereotypes. I was blown away. It's a lavish production and the show is more relevant than ever. Strong performances all around -- and great choreography.

It snowed last night. Not much, just enough to be pretty. It reminds me of the powdered sugar on my Aunt Helen's Christmas Cookies.

No comments: