Speaking of gentlemen, Sir Tom Stoppard dropped in for a visit in New York a couple of years ago. He’s erudite, friendly to all and sundry, and never shows off his vast knowledge outside his plays. His son Ed Stoppard plays a lead part in yet another British triumph which recently arrived in these shores, the new version of Upstairs Downstairs. Fans of the British aristocracy will like this one as much as the 70s oldie which ran for years in Blighty. I remember it well. All England would stay home to watch the weekly dish, and the characters became part of the language”so much so, that someone took the actor who played Lord Bellamy to White’s Club, introduced him at the bar as Bellamy, and for a while got away with it. The story was told to me by the actor’s son, Andy Langton, who eventually became a member of White’s. Upstairs Downstairs appears on Sundays on PBS.
The other British gem is Downton Abbey, whose creator has just been knighted by the Queen for making the aristocracy look so good for a change. I don”t suppose these Brit imports are everyone’s cup of tea”but they sure bring back warm and pleasant memories to yours truly.
What a joy it was to dress up to the nines, pick up a beautiful girl and head for Broadway, then follow it with dinner at El Morocco. There was no swearing, the taxis were clean and the drivers were polite and spoke English, and Elmo’s had impeccable service and one was seated comfortably in one’s own private booth. People used the lavatories to relieve themselves, or for ladies to powder their noses. Today men do the same thing”powder their noses, that is”but with a different type of powder. Good old New York City, where are you now that I need you more than ever?
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