Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tavern on the Green to close on Dec. 31st...
Tavern on the Green, a restaurant located in Central Park on the Upper West Side of New York City, is counting its last days of operation as the 1934 restaurant will serve its last meals on the 31st of December....(Uh..yeah...that would be TOMORROW!)
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Not for anything....when I was a kid growing up in East Harlem...EVERYBODY in the hood dreamed of having their "fairy tale" wedding (complete with horse drawn carriage) at Tavern on the Green!!! I mean we saw enough about it in the movies and of course if you had your wedding reception there...it definitely made the NY Times social pages!! Of course back in it's heyday, their admittance policy was VERY exclusive...so you KNOW that dream wasn't HARDLY happening for too many folks that looked like me...lol
Quiet as it's kept "we" did manage to infiltrate the red ropes on many occasions after the sun went down...(Encore Models to the floor please...lol)..back in the early 90's for some kick azz parties...and because it WAS Tavern on the Green...you HAD to be dressed your absolute best! It was a marvelous time to be young, black & vibrant in New York City and I will miss the institution itself dearly....For my generation it was THE epicenter of high society (white or black) and if you hadn't been there, you hadn't arrived.
I recently attended a party at Tavern on the Green over the summer and the evidence of it's decline was everywhere including the caliber of guests and the obvious lack of any real dress code. I knew it was over for them the minute I walked through the doors, gone were the days of high glamour and elegance; the sheer excitement of pulling up to the brightly lit up driveway was no longer there. The once familiar scent of money being in the air was non existent. The hallways that held memories of beautiful delicately colored ball gowns, tuxedos & dinner jackets were now cluttered with scantily clad women, young (and not-so-young), young men dressed like pimps with no sense of decorum on the dance floor. The dark, hot and sweaty party rooms reminded me of house parties from back in the day. The staff was polite but generally bristled if they actually had to talk to you. The garden area was still beautiful that summer evening and the chairs and tables were filled with couples who had come outside to get some air. From the outside it reminded me of a great big black people greenhouse with the windows all steamed up...lol.
Like I said...I knew it was the end of an era that night.