18 April 2008

Lunch with Mike, Amanda and Patty

(Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden and Department of Building Commissioner Patricia Lancaster walk down 52nd Street toward the Four Seasons Restaurant. Lancaster suddenly crosses to the other side of the street.)

Bloomberg: Patty! What's wrong with you. Get over here.

Lancaster: That thing looks a little shaky, Mr. Mayor.

Burden: What thing, Patty?

Lancaster: I don't walk under those anymore.

Bloomberg: That's an awning, you nitwit, not scaffolding. Stop cowering. I'm hungry. (Looks at the passing cars.) Goddamn traffic!

(They pass up the stairs to the restaurant.)

Bloomberg: Hello, Julian.

Julian Niccolini: Mr. Mayor, so good to see you. Your usual table?

Burden: The pool! The pool!

Bloomberg: The Grill Room is better for business.

Burden: The pool!

Bloomberg: All right, all right. Don't know how Steve Ross put up with you, Amanda. Julian, this place still landmarked?

Julian: I am happy to say it is. One of only two restaurant interiors in the city.

Bloomberg: What's the other?

Julian: Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn.

Bloomberg: Yeah. That closed, didn't it. It's a TGI Friday's now. Not as good as Subway, but good.

Julian: I believe that restaurant is also gone now.

: Too bad. It was good.

Julian: I did not have the pleasure.

Bloomberg: Yeah, yeah. If you want to fix that landmarking thing, just let me know. I can make it happen. You could spiff up the place. Give it a new look.

Julian: I will keep that in mind, Mr. Mayor. Here you are, ladies.

Lancaster: My, these prices are high.

Bloomberg: Look at those ceilings. Lot of wasted space here. Could fit three, four condo units in here.

Lancaster: Are there sharing plates?

Bloomberg: When are they gonna get Cheeze-its on this thing? I've told Julian...

Burden: I'm having the lobster.

Bloomberg: Me, too.

Lancaster: But they don't list the price.

Burden: Don't be such a skinflint, Patty. Live a little.

Lancaster: But...

Bloomberg: What you need is one of those things Quinn has, that slush fund...

Lancaster: Really? Can I get one of those?

Bloomberg: Uh, no. Belt-tightening, Patty. Belt-tightening. I'm asking all of the agencies...

Lancaster: But I read where you have more staff than ever...

Bloomberg: I asking most of the agencies...

Lancaster: I was just thinking I could use a few more building inspectors...

Bloomberg: The economy. Fiscal responsibility, Patty. I run City Hall like a business. Lotsa cubicles. That's why I'm such a raging success and people want me to be President.

Burden: I thought that was...

Bloomberg: I mean Governor.

Burden: Now, this is the kind of place I was talking about. The kind of place Harlem needs more of.

Lancaster: The Four Seasons?

Burden: If there was a Four Seasons on 125th Street, people would go to the Appalling Theatre.

Bloomberg: Apollo.

Burden: The Apollo Theatre. People will understand when the building gets underway. I know. I was a public schoolteacher in Harlem in the 1960s and there was never any decent sushi.

Bloomberg: Building? That reminds me. How much building we got going on, Patty.

Lancaster: I don't know. They keep asking me that. I don't know.

Bloomberg: Well, how many buildings did you approve today?

Lancaster: None.

Burden: None? Not even for 125th Street? Do you need an engraved invitation?

Lancaster: Well, there was that crane thing...

Bloomberg: I not interested in some new chick at the Bronx Zoo.

Lancaster: No, the crane that fell down. On the East Side.

Bloomberg: That was weeks ago.

Lancaster: People are upset, I'm afraid. My feet are really to the fire. They're accusing me of the most upsetting things...

Burden: So what? That crazy man at the commission meeting when we approved the Harlem rezoning yelled at me. He called me "a rich, rich, rich person."

Lancaster: Actually he called you a rich, rich, rich horrible person.

Burden: Oh. I wondered why he was so upset. I thought he was just jealous. If he wants to be rich, he should marry his own money.

Bloomberg: What's wrong with people? This is the nature of development. A few falling cranes are perfectly normal.

Lancaster: But people died...

Bloomberg: A few deaths are perfectly normal. Why, I killed a few people building my place in Bermuda. My God, Patty, do I have to have Doctoroff call you again and explain it all?

Lancaster: (shuddering) No, no, please don't do that.

Bloomberg: Man, cranes weren't falling when Doctoroff was around. I'm going to have Doctoroff call you.

Lancaster: No, please, Mr. Mayor...

Waiter: Have you decided?

Burden: Lobster. And the foie gras to start.

Bloomberg: That stuff'll kill you. You know what they do to those geese? I'm thinking of outlawing it in New York restaurants. That and salt. I'll have Lobster, too. Beet salad to start.

Lancaster: Could I get a bowl of consomme?

Burden: Oh, for heaven's sake, Patty, why don't ask them to boil you up some Raman noodles?

Lancaster: Well, I'm sorry if I'm not the richest person in New York City.

Burden: Well, neither am I, but you don't see me complaining.

Bloomberg: I am! But my parents were middle-class. Did I mention that. In fact, they were the last decent middle-class people to live in this country. Now all the best people are rich.

Lancaster: I'm not hungry.

Bloomberg: Amanda, how's that Chinatown rezoning coming?

Burden: Almost there. You know, I can never find anyplace to eat down there.

Bloomberg: Because I was on Pell Street the other day and all those buildings seemed really short. And dirty. The area's a mess.

Burden: It'll soon be fixed.

Julian: (carrying a bottle of Krug champagne) With the compliments of the gentleman across the pool.

Bloomberg: Who's that? Ah, geez. Ratner. Send it back, send it back. He's just wants something. Say, Julian, Obama been here lately?

Julian: Not in the past week.

Bloomberg: I've got an idea I want to run by him.

(Suddenly there is a loud crack following by a creaking sound. A huge crane crashes through the west wall of the Pool Room landing on Bruce Ratner, killing him instantly.)

Burden: Uh. My dress!

Lancaster: (rocking back and forth, reciting as if by rote) I inherited from Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani a department in disarray. I inherited from Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani a department in disarray.

Bloomberg: On second thought, Julian, leave the Krug.


Anonymous said...

Funny stuff, until you realize that it's not at all far from the truth.

epc said...

Lancaster's resigned: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/bloombergs-building-commissioner-resigns/index.html?hp