I don’t venture over to the Upper East Side often but today, requiring my flu shot delivered by my internist’s nurse, I did.
Afterward, I choose to walk down Second Avenue rather than Third, in the spirit of culinary adventure. I.e., I wanted lunch and have learned that Third Avenue — at least between 86th and 79th — is a black hole in the eatery firmament of NYC.
So there I was on Second and 84th Street where I noticed an attractive restaurant-y place. Called the Green Kitchen.
The Green Kitchen!? I had memories. Well, one memory. Because in the 1960s I’d eaten lunch there.
At the time, I was in my first show biz job working for the nicest boss I would ever have. He was Don Wallace, the executive producer of the CBS soap opera, The Edge of Night. And I was his secretary.
Although our offices were in the now notorious 666 Fifth Avenue (Jared Kushner? Stupid overpayment? Desperate search for savior? Yeah, that 666) — proving that no job location shrivels away into ancient history — Edge itself was produced at a studio.
One delightful day, Don took me uptown to the studio, a converted old theater up on First Avenue and 76th Street. It was my first sound stage; I lapped up every inch of it.
It must have been after that day’s broadcast (which we watched from the booth) when we went to the Green Kitchen for lunch. It was a favorite place for the crew and actors, maybe because it was diagonally across the street and, as I remember it, probably the only place in the immediate neighborhood.
So that wonderful day in the land of Edge pulled itself up into my conscious mind when I saw the Green Kitchen sign.
I went in. I asked the first guy I saw, “Is this the same Green Kitchen–” and he said “Yes.” A bit later I learned this GK (its cutting edge nickname) was not the original one, which was and is at 77th Street and First Avenue, but was a new branch. Well, I didn’t care, I was thrilled, I sat, I ate.
Oh, yeah about that food. I won’t be eating again for quite a while. Maybe not until tomorrow evening. I am guiltily relieved to say I’m not going to have my cholesterol tested until the next time I visit my doctor in maybe six months. It’s going to take me those six months to lower my LDL beneath the danger marker but, hey, I believe I have enough time.
Speaking of which, I want to ask you a favor. Feel free to visit one of the Green Kitchens, but in six months or so — I don’t have an MD appointment yet — please leave me a table somewhere in one of the GKs. I will take it badly if you get aggressive and selfish about my generous recommendation and block me out.
And if I can’t get into a Green Kitchen because you’ve mobbed the place, I will not be charming you with my many warm and hilarious stories about the time I spent working on The Edge of Night.