829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fried Oysters and Cigarettes

Those are the two immediate memories I
have when I see these two women.  It's the
job of any restaurant person to remember 
a particular preference or desire of his or her
regular customers.  Toni almost without fail
wanted fried oysters, and Fran had to be in the 
smoking section (the bar).  They ate together
often, but in 2006, when the smoking ban went
into effect,  Fran was not in as much and, 
according to her, she was crossing the Delaware
so she could smoke at the table.  She tried to 
make me feel guilty for not allowing her to 
smoke, but I knew it was her way of  showing
that she loved me.  I often miss those days.


  1. Some things never change.

    Washington crossed the Delaware so that he could smoke the Hessians.

    1. She much rather would have been in Lahiere's bar than in Pennsy, I'm fairly certain. And pulling up in her Checker Marathon

  2. Some things never change.

    When I was working in Jersey (the New is silent), I had to photograph Daniel Pinkwater at his home up north somewhere (it was someplace like Hoboken, but not Hoboken).

    He had, and loved dearly, a Checker Marathon of about the same vintage. He's a large person and the car fit him, or vice versa. He also lived in something of a cartoon world (he writes children's books) so Lichtenstein's observation may explain why he, too, was drawn to the Checker.

    I photographed him for about an hour in all kinds of settings, but the shot we used for the Sunday magazine cover was of him lying on the sidewalk with the Checker's grill and bumper looming over him.

    I don't think Fran Lebovitz would have gone for that.

    1. I'm thinking I agree with that. She's a tough cookie. But it's with a w. Annie's another story.

  3. OK, here ya go.

    Just tracked this down.

  4. As soon as Baydog and O Docker posted some links to something as off-the-wall as Checker Cabs, my web interest antenna's perk up. I am not a car buff but I do enjoy the odd ball. I've heard of Checker Cabs, but I've never heard of Fran Lebovitz but with curiosity piqued I did what the Internet is extremely good at. Read some very interesting articles and laughed at some very funny YouTubes. Thanks for the links and adding some new synapses to my grey matter.

    1. You're welcome. She's a character for sure. I only hope to come across her once again.