Last Thursday, we swanned about the Diamond Horseshoe, a grand ballroom beneath the Paramount Hotel. We wore our most courtly attire and took our repast with the Queen. The Queen of the Night.
The whole affair was hotly smarmy, faintly slimy, yet oddly charming. Half the time I had no idea what was going on.
I could imagine the show designer standing back and with lavish windmilling arms describe his vision. He would say, "This black and white umbrella balanced on a sexy man's nose surrounded by writhing trapeze artists and mud-covered jugglers ... it represents lightness and darkness. It also represents the delicate balance of life and its evanescence. It also represents a penis."
Bubby Recalls the Diamond HorseshoeMy Bubby was also at the Diamond Horseshoe. Except she was there in 1944.
"It is not the Diamond Horseshoe Club. It is just the Diamond Horseshoe. Your grandfathah was not with me when I went there. He was in the war. I went with my best friend Claire and her husband, Sackie."
"Everybody called him Sackie but his real name was Nathan Sacken. He owned the Village Vanguard. Very shrewd man but he lost everything when he became involved with the Mafia."
"We saw Milton Berle there. At the Diamond Horseshoe. He did his schtick. This was before his TV show of course. We did not have a TV back then. No one did. Except a wealthy old man on the 3rd floor of our building. He was the first to buy a television."
"I remember the room, it was round. Exquisite. The stage, it was half round. You know Barbara Walter's father owned the place. He owned other places too. Maybe the underground clubs on 69th by Fifth Avenue, but I can't remember now. Sackie knew him, Barbara Walter's father. He introduced me."
"There was a band."
"We sat in the front by the stage at the best table."
"No no no, Bubbelah. There was no bar. This was a fancy place. The waiters, they came right to your table. I had an apricot sour."