PRATIE PLACE

Friday, November 04, 2005

In Which Melina Goes To Breakfast

I have been at my job for three months now, which is not long by the standards of a Job Job, but by the standards of a Fellowship (which is what my job actually is), it means that my term is a quarter over and it's time to find out how I'm doing.

To make my Quarterly Review into more of a Nice Thing and less of a Scary Thing, my boss Naomi took me to the Regency Hotel. The story of this hotel (which is printed on its menus) I will paraphrase for you as follows:

Once upon a time, during the 1970s, New York City was going to hell. However there were still rich people living there who wished that it was not such a crappy place to live. One of these people was Larry Tisch. To entice various machers into working with him on improving New York (and no doubt his own finances) Larry schmoozed these people up by taking them to breakfast at the Regency Hotel, which is a very nice and fancy place to have breakfast.

These breakfasts soon turned out to be extremely successful. They were posh, convivial, and efficient, and the businessmen could go have them, seal the deal, and then head to a full day of work. In this way, what became known as the Power Breakfast held several significant advantages over the American business institution that it replaced, the Three Martini Lunch.

1) It was faster.
2) It did not interrupt your work day.
2) At the end of a Power Breakfast you were not plastered and thus you were likely to have made a better deal for yourself.

As caffeine has now almost entirely replaced alcohol as the businessman's drug of choice, and as New York is far more prosperous than it was in the 1970s, Power Breakfasts at the Regency continue to be popular with NEw York VIPs and businesspeople to this very day.

The end.


I should also mention that there are two breakfast rooms at the Regency. One where the VIPs sit, and a back room known as the Library for lesser mortals.

Naomi and I had been seated at our table for only a few minutes when Naomi, who is more-or-less Israeli, leaned over to me with a strange look on her face.

"Do you see that guy at the table next to us? With his back against the wall? That's Bibi Netanyahu."

And indeed it was, not three feet away from me, Bibi Netanyahu, mumbling in English with a bunch of what looked like business cronies not politicians.

As a more-or-less Israeli who is also more-or-less left wing, Naomi had a few things she wanted to tell Bibi. "Do you think I should talk to him? Tell him why he's out of power now? Because I can tell him exactly why, and I can tell him why he's such a has -been, he's fallen so far, that they seated him in the Library instead of the main room... Because that just goes to show you..."

Naomi restrained herself. Bibi got the check and left. We had breakfast. My review went just fine.

---M.

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2 Comments:

At 10:57 PM, Blogger melinama said...

As I recall, a good number of the people who went out for the 3-martini lunches never went back to work. They had their "researchers" cover for them. The martini drinkers were men. The researchers were women. The women drank AFTER work.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Mirty said...

I've often felt a glass of wine at lunch would actually help me provide "friendlier" technical support through the long afternoon (the long dark tea-time of the soul).... But I dare not risk it. Quite the Puritans we have become.

An interesting tidbit about Bibi Netanyahu is that his father is (was?) a respected scholar of Jewish history. I read his book on the Marranos while doing research on them.

 

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