Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mr. Chow’s…great food, great chairs

It was the 60’s in London; the Americans are here, at least in the ad business…also the film business.

The only time the two American communities met was in Hyde Park on Sunday mornings.

There was a softball field reserved for Americans, a reward I think for something we did a while back.

Every Sunday there was a soft ball game played by the movie guys, we came to watch, at least I never saw the ad guys playing ball.

The film being made in England at the time always determined the players.

The best game I saw was when the film “The Dirty Dozen” was being made.
Everybody was there that morning, including Mohamed Ali; I think he was still Cassius Clay then. A great day, a good game, then the Sunday ritual continued, across the road to Mr. Chows in Knightsbridge.

Mr. Chows was a popular restaurant and very“ trendy,” a nice 60’s word. Trattorias were very popular in London during the 60’s, so were Chinese restaurants, Michael Chow combined the two, Italian waiters serving Chinese food made by Chinese cooks, both groups were very vocal and emotional and could not understand each other which made for the basic entertainment of the place, lots of yelling and arm waving in short bursts.

Sunday Lunch was the ritual, we would go after the game with some friends and our young son for a great lunch, and every table had various members of the film and ad community. The really famous and the ones that thought we were famous, remember it was London in the 60’s.

Food as usual was terrific and we never found out what that fried green stuff was, seaweed, parsley, still have no idea. Everyone enjoyed the drama of watching a Chinese chef make fresh noodles in front of us all with flair and abandon. The Italian waiters did their little number blaming the Chinese cooks about something or other, lots of checking out the real celebrities…a normal Sunday lunch.

We had invited our group to our house later that afternoon for “ TEA”, our version of it…a bit English, a bit American…and maybe slightly Greek.

I suddenly realized that we didn’t really have any chairs that we liked around our Eames table at home. I always liked the chairs in Mr. Chow, Michael, the owner was there and I asked him where he got his bentwood chairs, and he said Czechoslovakia, or maybe Romania and laughed.

He told me he had some in the basement, about 50 extra ones…that was all I needed to know. Negotiations started.

“ Michael I need 6, I need them now.”
“ I can’t sell my chairs.”
“ Come on Michael…we invited people over for tea.”

20 minutes more and we agreed…I think I paid nine pounds a chair.

The chairs were cheaper than lunch for six.
We had all come in my R type Bentley, it was London in the 60’s after all.

I told the doorman to get a cab for us; we loaded the chairs in the cab and told him to follow us.
Off we went, six people in my Bentley and six chairs in a cab following us.

We still have those chairs, they have traveled the world with us and now my daughter has them.

When you go to a restaurant and you like the food, look around maybe there is something else you want to take home with you.

Take out chairs…I have to try it again, there is a Greek taverna with terrific chairs near us, come to think of it the tables aren’t so bad either.

Friday, October 7, 2011

"X" marks the spot

Three years ago they found a benign tumor in my skull just above my sinus cavity.

I had three options, wait and see what happens (not for me),
We could have major surgery, going in from the top of my skull, removing the entire tumor,
Or, slightly less invasive, cut over the eyebrow and go in from the side and get as much as you can.

We chose the 3rd option knowing that it would eventually grow back but it would not be a problem in my lifetime.

It is growing, faster than we thought it would, damn thing is not going to beat me.

I have been having MRIs periodically and they showed that it is growing slightly faster than expected.

Before it becomes what it originally was, and would require invasive surgery again, there is something that can be done.

Gamma Knife seems to be the answer, non invasive in spite of the knife in the name. It is a focused controlled radiation treatment…they zap it out evidently. It has to be accurate and really on target otherwise it destroys stuff it is not supposed to.

I have been reading about it and it seems to be a remarkable procedure.
I spoke to my surgeon’s assistant and asked about timings, since it will be done in the States. She said your appointment is the 8th the procedure is the 10th and you can fly back to Greece on the 12th. Pretty amazing stuff. Needless to say we will stay in NY a little longer, just in case he missed.

I had a pretty incredible experience before we found all this out.

I sent my MRIs to my surgeon in the States.

He emailed me on Saturday the 10th of Sept, the weekend of the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
That in it self was amazing, he also emailed the surgeon he recommended for the Gamma Knife surgery.
His email included all my MRIs. It is now Sunday and the other surgeon is answering, discussing my case with my original surgeon.

The secretary is sending me copies of everything to keep me informed, everything is decided, when, where, the works-and this is the weekend of the 9/11th anniversary.

I am awed by their commitment and dedication.
It still knocks me out.
These people are incredible.
I have to admire the commitment they have to their work.

Thank heavens they are my guys.