Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

The Prodigal Cousin, posted June 1, 2008 at 11:20 PM


Adrienne returned to New York. If only for a weekend.

The funny thing is, when she moved away back in November, I stood on the sidewalk in front of 80 Amity Street, waving my white hanky and sending her off to her sunny state and her soon-to-be engaged life. When she returned, I was still waiting right there at 80 Amity, as if I'd never left. So this homecoming of hers was a homecoming in the most literal sense--she was returning to the very apartment she called home the whole time she lived in New York. Her apartment. My apartment. Okay--The Apartment.

Her old bedroom is now my guest room. As you can see in the photo above, I've named it in her honor, and even had a brass plaque engraved. I've changed a few things around, replaced the cupboard handles, installed all my belongings, but it's still very much the same place she left, and we had just as much of a ball sitting around my table as we did sitting around hers.

The weekend was like a greatest hits collection of our various NYC activities. Florent, Landmarc, the traditional Last Meal At Frankô. Coney Island plus L&B Spumoni Gardens. Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Bar 89. MoMA. But we had some new places mixed in too--Employees Only, Spitzer's Corner--and we had a lot of fun.

One highlight: drinks at the newly renovated bar on the roof of the Penninsula Hotel on 55th & 5th:

click image for larger

I had one Hendricks martini. Adrienne had one pomegranate margarita. Our bill, after tax and tip: $60. Welcome back to the big city, Kiddo.

One event was tinged with sadness: Florent is closing, so this visit was Adrienne's last chance to feel the great grand marvelous Florent Love. I have to say, it was the most magnificent meal I've had there in a long long time. For some reason, even though it's always perfect, this time it was better than perfect. The mussels were meaty and succulent and their broth was piping hot, the steaks were tender, the crowd was loud, and the t-shirts were selling like hotcakes (we each bought one). Darinka was even more beautiful than usual, if that's possible. It was a magical dinner. Here is the last picture ever taken of Adrienne Zaza at restaurant Florent:



More pictures from our fun-filled weekend are here. Thanks for a great time, Adge. All of New York City misses you.

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