David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary

30 Nov, 2007

Jammed in New York

Then on to Asprey where the (young) ladies and gentlemen were still alighting from their limousines, resplendent in their gowns and shined up in their black tie. The new Asprey shop, which occupies half of the east side of the block between 70th and 71st Streets, was jammed. And in the middle of the first floor was a grand piano being played by a phlegmatically bemused musician who managed to continually riff on one Gershwin tune. It was perfect holiday cocktail party Upper East Side Manhattan music, while all around the talkers were talking and the Champagne was flowing and jingle-jangle, here comes Santa Claus.

There was more party upstairs in the store's paneled rooms, its display cases replete with more resplendence, stuff you could imagine yourself getting from some very style-aware (and generous) friend. I don't shop, so all of this stuff is always new and always amazing to me.

So I helped myself to a glass of champagne, Veuve-Cliquot it looked like to me, and had a brief chat with some friends, and a briefer picture taking of the crowd.

I wasn't going on to the dinner so I had to get out of there before nine in order to make Eli's before closing. Eli's, if you didn't know, is the East Side emporium version of a once-upon-a-time deli. Its creator, one Eli Zabar , is an off-spring of the Zabar of Zabar's, my favorite Saturday morning visit. Eli's has prices to match the portfolios of its chic clientele from avenues Park, Madison and Fifth, and quality naturally; as well as a little something for the rest of us hoi-polloi from the nabe. They have very good soups, very good cheese Danish, very good everything and the very good prices, which need no exaggeration.

I made it on time to get my fresh soup (Vegetarian Chili and Bean) and my cheese Danish for afterwards. Leaving, I grabbed the last  shot of a window for the night featuring Eli's very own gingerbread house, an Upper East Side gingerbread house. I have no doubt some little one from one of the avenues aforementioned is gonna see that fantastic hunk of cookie, candy, sugar and cream, and go: I wannit!   And he'll get it. Jingle-jingle all the way.

Alison Minton, Justin Karr, and Anait Bian