City Pulse

By Razi Schwartz

I love dinner. It’s the thing I look forward to at the end of a long, toilingsome day. Call Webster’s…that’s a good one. It is the zenith of the Mondays through Fridays (and some particularly long Saturdays and Sundays). The end of a long journey that starts with waking up at the ass crack of dawn and oftentimes goes downhill from there. It is the meal of the hearty porterhouse steak, the vegetarian lasagne, the Greys Papaya at 3am…whoa, ok, don’t know where that one came from. Basically, it’s just, loverly. The thought of it alone gets my taste buds all in a flutter.

And no one “dinners” like New Yorkers. There always seems to be something fabulous happening around el dinner-time, and today I bring you no exception. In fact, today I am doing you the favor of combining not one, not two, but three things New Yorkers love all into one gift basket of goodness: dinnering, celebrities, and the 92nd Street Y. I have no idea why New Yorkers love these three things (well, the dinner thing I do), but for some reason…it’s a thing(s). People don’t fawn over celebs here like they do in La La Land…it’s more of a “hey, nice shirt, you been to Batali’s new restaurant?” as opposed to “Like, I, like, totally loved you in Bring It On Part 4 – I’ll Cheer You Up!” (That last one ends on the upspeak, in case you were wondering). And the Y – I don’t know what it is, but I hear they have a lot of cool programs and stuff. Take, for example, their Food Talks program.

Que es este Food Talks? I’m in a Spanish phase if anyone was wondering. Food Talks is an awesome visual, but no these crazy kids have not found a way to get your marinated chicken on ciabatta with olive tapanade to read to you. Food Talks is a series of dinners at the Y, where celebrities from all walks of famous life talk about their experiences, their stories, some anecdotes maybe… There are four individual sessions, and you can buy tickets to a single event for $25 or buy a subscription to the entire series for $85. Only subscribers get to claim the same seat for each event and get guaranteed seats when an event is sold out. Which, if I had to put money on it, each one of these events will. So get the subscription – come on, it’s not like you weren’t going to go to all four anyway. Oh, wait, you want to know WHO is speaking at each dinner? Greedy today, aren’t we?

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Shut Up and Eat: Sunday, October 9, 7:30pm Chazz Palminteri, Frank Vincent, Tony Lip, and Robert Davi share their favorite Italian recipes and their stories of growing up as Italian-Americans. Fuggedaboudit. I’M SORRY, I COULDN’T HELP MYSELF.

The Baker’s Secrets: Monday, November 21, 8:15pm Nick Malgieri, Amy Scherber, Dorie Greenspan, and Eileen Goudge divulge the deepest secrets, rewards, and challenges of baking. Alexandra Leaf moderates the discussion. I’d think the biggest challenge of baking is not eating all the dough before you end up with a cake, but maybe I’m wrong – we should all go find out.

Restaurants from the Inside Out: Thursday, January 12th, 8pm Rocco DiSpirito (hottie McRestaurateur, p.s.), Steven Shaw, and Calvin Trillin talk shop, food, and … well, Rocco’s cute. Leonard Loparte moderates this event — oh, I’ll moderate this event.

Karen and David Waltuck, the First Couple of New York Restaurants: Thursday, January 26, 8pm If you can’t figure out who’s speaking at this one, go back to college. The founders of Chanterelle talk about their successful restaurant business and marriage – a rarety in every light. Mike Colameco moderates this chat.

Like I said, you may just want to get the subscription, because you’re not going to want to miss any of these events. A fab dinner with your compadres at el Y? I, personally, am a fan of the reserved seating thing. I’d go to the movie theatres where you can reserve seats, but I hate 34th street. You can’t buy these tix online, so call 212-415-5500 or visit the Y’s box office on Lexington at 92nd Street or the Steinhardt Building. I have no idea where the Steinhardt building is, but…apparently I’m supposed to, and that’s why I’m not hip. But y’all are hip – so I have faith you’ll figure it out. I do know where Lexington and 92nd is – and that’s good, because otherwise I’d have to re-enroll myself in college.

With all that said: Eat, drink, and be talkin’.

Originally published October 2005
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