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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

Living a New York Weekend


It is Sunday afternoon and a lovely weekend in New York City
is pulling itself together for a soft finale. Friends are on there way
over to see the new apartment, to toast it with some nice wine and good
It's been one of those magical New York weekends that people
dream about having if they live in New York, filled with doing those
wonderful things that New York offers.
On Friday night, we went to dinner at Barolo, our favorite
northern Italian restaurant on West Broadway in SoHo. We were joined byJeff and Suzanne Cole, old friends of ours from Los Angeles, in town on business. Jeff will do some presentations for his ground breaking study of internet usage before flying off for some meetings in Sweden.
We met at 8:30 and finished sometime after midnight, having
laughed and chatted and discussed everything that had happened since the
last time we had been together in New York in the late autumn. Jeff and
I discussed his coming to New York sometime to do a briefing for people
I know who work in the internet business and in internet advertising.
Suzanne, who has often been my travel agent, told me how
slow her business has been and we discussed at length their stay in
Sweden's Ice Hotel on a previous visit. Having been born and raised in
Minnesota, the idea of spending a night in a hotel made of ice holds no
charm or adventure. But Jeff and Suzanne, Californians, found it to be
grand time - not one they might do again but certainly one they didn't
regret having done once.
Dinner finished, rich desserts consumed, coffee drunk, we
walked with them up to Sixth Avenue and hailed a cab for them to return
to their hotel in mid-town.
Tripp and I walked back toward Broadway to catch a cab but
before doing that slipped into one of our old Spring Street haunts for
another coffee and a night cap. There, the bartender told us every
detail of the short film he was planning to make. Tripp had read the
script and they discussed it. It was this chap's last night in this bar
before moving up to City Crab, which was the Iguana in the early '90's,
where the attractive female bartenders would get up on the bar and dance
wildly as the night progressed. It was the place to take straight
friends when they were visiting New York and wanted to see a bit of the
local nightlife.
We finally cabbed downtown and ended up sitting up and
talking, as the lights from the Staten Island Ferry bobbed past our
living room window.
Saturday we shopped for things the new apartment needed,
like clothes hampers. We hung some pictures and then went off to 45th
Street to see Bea Arthur in her one woman show, in a theatre packed with
people who loved her and could not have enough of her.
She sang, danced a few steps, told stories about Tallulah
Bankhead and others, gave out a great recipe for a leg of lamb and
brought the house to a standing ovation when she finished. A bit
ribald, she was exactly the old dame the audience wanted her to be after
having witnessed her do Maude and be a Golden Girl for years.
She finished the show by announcing her love for New York, a
city in which she had once lived and told us, her "delicious" audience,
that it was spectacular to be in New York today, particularly today, in
times like these.
The audience went wild. Everyone knew what she was talking
about; we were living in times like these. As we shopped for hampers
and lamps, our new Mayor Bloomberg went off to his first funerals for
firefighters killed on September 11th since becoming Mayor, muting, he
hoped, criticism for having missed one a week before when he had been
burying a friend instead of a fireman.
As we sat in the theatre, trucks continued to exit the WTC
site, their wheels sprayed clean before they are allowed to venture on
city streets, making their way out to Staten Island so their contents
could be loaded onto conveyors belts and searched for clues from what
is, arguably, the largest crime scene ever in the history of the world.
The headlines in the New York Times are split now between
the fallout from the September 11 attacks, the collapse of Enron and
Global Crossing and the 2002 Olympics.
At dinner on Friday night and over wine on Sunday afternoon,
the conversation on downtown was not on how bad things were but how fast
things are being rebuilt. The civic conversation is tending toward
rebuilding rather than the rehashing of destruction. What will go on
the site of the Towers is now the focus of downtown conversations. We
mourn our favorite Indian restaurant on Duane Street, closed forever,
and celebrate the new ones opening up and those that are hanging on. We
celebrate Kenny who stands guard diligently at his liquor store on West
Street, waiting for business to return.
Bea Arthur is at the Booth, Broadway is back, restaurants
are filling again and we are working toward reconstruction while still
mourning those that have been lost. We sadly comprehend that life will
be a long time, if ever, going back to what it was on September 10th but
we are able to rejoice in every sliver of normality that comes to us in
streets reopening and stores surviving.