28 January 2009

Times Greets Tie-less "21" With Equanimity

No doubt wishing not to seem too stuffy, and to appear "hip" to what the "kids" are thinking these days, The New York Times soft-pedaled the whole "21" Club tie policy brouhaha. Glenn Collins penned an article all but yawns at the development, opening with "THE earth held firm in its orbit. The continents did not founder. Martial law was not imposed. This, despite the fact that the “21” Club has loosened its tie for the first time since it opened at 21 West 52d Street 79 years ago."

There are the requisite interviews with patrons, some disappointed in the dip in etiquette, some thinking it a fine thing.

Yours truly is mentioned. None of my fulminations are quoted. Instead, Collins acts on one of my hope-against-hope suggestions:

After the new tie policy was announced, one blog, Lost City (which describes itself as “a running Jeremiad on the vestiges of Old New York as they are steamrolled under”) asked: “Couldn’t we get the old-school La Grenouille to uphold the old ways and begin requiring ties again?”

Not likely, said Charles Masson, general manager of the 47-year-old restaurant that abandoned its tie-only policy in 2003 (but not its jacket requirement). “There used to be a time when men wore white wigs, too,” he said.

Ha, ha. One day, Masson'll be saying "There used to be a time when men wore pants, too." It's a slippery slope.

Also interviewed was the king of Four Seasons, who was his usual debonair, flip self:

Julian Niccolini, a partner at The Four Seasons restaurant, asked simply, “Why should I tell people how to dress?”

Funny, coming from a restaurant that's all about style and elegance and how things look.


Anonymous said...

I guess Le Cirque gave up the struggle a while ago? I still recall going to Le Cirque 2000 on Madison for lunch one day in the middle of a huge winter storm. Spontaneous decision, thinking - rightly - that the place would be empty. I am wearing two big sweaters over a flannel shirt. The maitre d' looks me up and down: "Well, I suppose, given the circumstances...But could I ask you fasten the top button of your shirt?"

I could feel Sirio's eyes following me as I entered the dining room.

breadchick said...

I saw that article this morning and was please to see you mentioned.

Two of my male friends and I are going to dinner at "21" on Friday. They have promised me that they will be wearing ties.