manhattan issue

Fran Lebowitz was elegantly dressed for dinner — she was due to dine on Central Park West at 7:00 pm: a fawn-coloured wool men's coat over a white shirt — probably from Brooks Brothers — a pin-striped navy jacket, blue jeans, and her boots, which she herself designed. She said, "These took two years to make. Like a book takes twenty years to write." She also wore yellow pigskin gloves. Her hair is wavy, cut to the jaw, and parted in the middle.

"I've been at the Four Seasons since 1977, and I believe we've been serving the Manhattan cocktail at the bar since 1959 in exactly the same fashion. It's made out of bourbon, and of course bourbon is from Kentucky, not from Tennessee. People often make a Manhattan with Jack Daniel's but Maker's Mark bourbon is the only spirit we make the Manhattan with at the restaurant."

There were 55 ecological community types coexisting there at the time. The landscape consisted of forests, wetlands, beaches, tidal meadows, vast salt marshes, light green fields of grass standing tall with tidewaters running into them. It was a fantastic place to live. It was very abundant in natural resources and everything they needed to live they could find or make from the resources on Manhattan. There were amazing fish runs in the springtime with sturgeons and river herring, there were nuts and berries, large wild deer and perhaps elk and many birds. In the harbour there were shellfish, which were a terrific year-round resource, oysters the size of dinner plates, huge lobsters, clams — there was a remarkable abundance of resources. At the crest of the island, there were hills where he (Hudson) would have seen big black bears, wolves, snapping turtles and river otters  abundant kinds of wildlife in an ecological mosaic that had been sustained for thousands of years before his arrival.

He built everything: Japanese-style storage and leaded Vermeer windows, through which cooing mourning doves flap and perch on your hand. She divided one original coffee plant and potted a plantation.

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