The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel closes tonight for good.
It's not the Plaza anymore, even if it keeps the name. The Edwardian Room is long gone, replaced by a trendy little boite. Trader Vic's became a health spa. A Trump owns it now.
One of the last vestiges of the city I grew up in, a clubby, close-knit camraderie that one could enter easily even without fame and fortune, so long as you had stamina and determination, will go tonight to its grave.
It was the kind of place where you order straight drinks: nothing with umbrellas or a list of ingredients that included tropical juices. Scotch. Gin. Vodka. "Exotic" here meant a Manhattan, and the look you got from the barkeep (always a friendly name like Tommy or Doug) for ordering a "Long Island Iced Tea" was enough to keep you chilled on the hottest summer night.
I wish I could be there, but I have a prior commitment, but damn, if I can get away early, I need a Jameson's.