So sad to hear about the passing of Elaine Kaufman, proprietress of the landmark Upper East Side eatery, Elaine's. Since 1963, It's been a favorite hang for the gliterati, including regulars Jacqueline Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Bianca Jagger, Tom Wolfe, Liza Minnelli, George Plimpton, Michael Caine, Martha Stewart, Kurt Vonnegut, Nora Ephron, and Diane Keaton.
It has been immortalized in films such as Woody Allen's 1979 film Manhattan (above, left), as well as Billy Joel's song Big Shot, and was mused about in the 1994 book, Everyone Comes to Elaine's. It was a favorite date spot for Madonna and Sean Penn (above, right), and also happened to be where Woody and Mia Farrow first met.
For any writer, sitting on one of Elaine's scuffed black bistro chairs is akin to rubbing the Buddha's belly, so it was where I chose to celebrate my birthday, as it was a few blocks away from our NYC pied-à-terre and the walls were lined with good luck. Sometimes when I was running errands, i'd walk several blocks out of my way just to peek in the window at the acrobat sculptures and carousel horses hanging from the ceiling. It emitted such a cozy vibe that i'm sad I didn't spend more time there, basking in the larger-than-life presence of Elaine herself.
Her staff has announced that Elaine's will go on, operating as usual, and in a city where historic hangs are disappearing like mad . . . three cheers! Be sure to stop by for spaghetti and meatballs next time you're in Yorkville.