When I was a kid, every single Saturday I looked forward to going out to lunch at my favorite restaurant, Watsons, located in Buffalo, NY, right next
door to my Dad’s clothing store–The Roger Lewis Shop.
Eating out as an eight- or ten-year-old was a thrill to me. It seemed so grown up and I liked the independence of it. I always ordered the same lunch–chocolate milk and a hamburger and french fries (not too healthy!). I also visited the well-stocked chocolate counter at Watson’s–filled with home-made treats made right there.
My once-a-week lunch out as a child escalated, in adulthood, into an every day habit. And ever since, throughout my life, I’ve always found a favorite lunch spot where I could get away from work, read the newspaper, or visit with a friend while people-watching and eating delicious food.
My current favorite restaurant is Izzy & Nats–located right here in Battery Park City at the southern tip of Manhattan just a block away from my apartment. It’s on South End Avenue, right in front of the restaurant, where I walked KATIE hundreds of times over a period of fifteen years.
In fact, the entire story of my book takes places within this Lower Manhattan neighborhood, and because of its out-of-the-way location, top-notch diners like Izzy & Nats are few and far between. I go there almost every day, the waiters automatically putting in my order when I sit down.
The menu is perfect for lunch–great salads, Matzo Ball soup, the crispiest home-made french fries in town,excellent turkey burgers, home-made bagels, plus a variety of other deli treats, from seven-layer chocolate cake to raspberry-filled ruggelach.
And, of course, when you go to a place as often as I do, you become friends with everybody.
The owners of Izzy’s, Alan and Brooke Phillips, are the most warm-hearted, community-minded restauranteurs. In fact, after Brooke read KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL, she told me that she was so touched by the story that she wanted to host a reception for my book in her restaurant for all our dog-loving friends and neighbors.
This is a very kind thing to do–and the perfect illustration of one of the unifying themes of my book–about the power of neighborhood connections, caring for and supporting one another, proving that a family is anything you want it to be, whether it be human/canine, young/old, straight/gay, you name it.
So while KATIE had a great mid-town debut party hosted by Calvin Klein, and a Tribeca Barnes & Noble bookreading, hosted by Liz Smith–at last, we’re having a Battery Park City event to celebrate the publication of my book.
And you’re all invited to this reception, this Thursday, November 18th, from 6-8 pm. Come meet me and my new puppy Lucy, her dog trainer, Rob Haussmann, Alan and Brooke Phillips, plus a host of incredible friends who have been so greatly supportive to me.
And in addition to getting your KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL book signed by me (plus a paw print from Lucy) they’ll be chocolate dog bones (for humans), stuffed cocker spaniel dolls (for kids), and a scrumptious assortment of Izzy & Nats signature dishes–mini-bagels with smoked salmon, corned beef and pastrami mini-sliders, mini-potato pancakes, and custom-made dog bone cookies decorated with Katie’s name on them.
And the great news is that all proceeds from the sale of KATIE will be donated to AmsterDog, a non-profit animal rescue group founded by BPC resident Deb Dilorio, recently profiled in the Downtown Express newspaper.
Deb is our neighborhood’s greatest champion for dogs and cats who have been abandoned in shelters or found in disaster sites–and we want to do everything we can to support her efforts to help animals in need.
So, please come to my favorite lunch spot, located just yards from the Hudson River, and lift a glass of wine in tribute to Deb and to all the dogs and cats that enhance our lives, giving back to us so much more than we can ever give to them.