Gary can't get The Blue Blazer going until 7:37 in but it's worth the wait
Alan Flusser's Custom Shop sits off 5th Avenue on 48th Street next to the old Scribner's book store and it is a very dangerous place. When Thomas Wolfe was paid for 'Look Homeward, Angel' he stepped out of Scribner's with the check in hand and walked north in a daze. He wasn't aware of where he was until 125th Street. Had Flusser been in business then I suspect he would have only had to walk around the block into 3 E. 48th and take the elevator to four.
I adore this place. The richness of just about everything here is overwhelming. It's like a museum and ADG at Maxminimus got me in with a warm introduction before he knew I was Joe Shit the Ragman. Everywhere you look there's perfection. The socks are perfect. The shoes are perfect. Even the belts are perfect.
Alligator tab surcingles in three patterns of perfect Spring and Summer haberdashery. But the warning bells were ringing. I didn't want to know how much they were. I was that scared. I've learned in NYC to take a guess at what something costs and then multiply it by four. These are too rich for my blood and my self preservation kicked in and got me out of there alive. Although I never wanted to leave.
Michael Batterberry is someone who belongs in Flusser's shop. This erudite editor of Food Arts Magazine was last seen on The Trad dining at Le Veau d'Or with Anthony Bourdain. Batterberry and his wife Ariane co-authored this book on NYC restaurant history going back to the American Revolution. If you love history and restaurants this book will blow you outta the water - - bottled or tap.
The book really starts to move around the late 19th century but I found the slower 18th and early 19th centuries to be most enjoyable. Amazing characters, rich food and bizarre appetites for alcohol. Above is an 18th century recipe for a cocktail called the Blue Blazer. Sounds simple enough. Whiskey and hot water. Light it and pour it back and forth between two cups. I don't mind a little risk but I'll be honest...I'm a klutz. I was told in the army I could fuck up an anvil with a rotten banana. And as much as I wanted to give this a try...I know myself too well. But that doesn't mean you can't give it a go. Fire is good. And fire can kill. I feel the same way about Flusser.