One More: End of Ed’s

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Safi Safiullah

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3 thoughts on “One More: End of Ed’s

  • My Dinner with Marian McPartland! Well, it was actually lunch. But I went into Big Ed’s for lunch one day in summer of 1970-something, and there was jazz piano legend McPartland sitting at one of those little two-seat tables to the right of the door. Every other seat was taken, and she dipped her head in permission for me to pull up the vacant chair and join her. Nothing personal, I’m sad to say — she was just being gracious. As it happened, I’d seen her play across the street in Kingsbury Hall earlier, maybe a day earlier, as part of one of those summer jazz institutes. That’s why, though a New York institution, she was in town. Those jazz institute goings-on were a lot of fun, and I snuck in when I could. She was playing in one of those big rehearsal rooms, and was leading an improvisation workshop, and as I remember, she teased it into a surprise finish with, straight out of nowhere, a tightening, rollicking variation of “Mr. Bojangles.” Triumphant stuff! And now later, here she was eating something light and barely there like a salad at Big Ed’s. She seemed refined and bird-like, eating in a non-student and dainty way, hanky in her left paw. She seemed amused when I introduced myself, and then she forked up the last leaf on the plate, left a tip, and departed. Off to Kingsbury Hall for more jazz. Years later, when I heard her talking and playing on NPR, I thought of Big Ed’s, the last leaf on the plate, and Marian McPartland.

  • Fueling up on hash browns, omelets, over easy eggs with fellow students, while preparing music theory assignments for a class taught by the late Ardean Watts. Linda always had a smile to offer, and made Big Ed’s feel like a home for a part of the school day. Good memories, Good times! Thank you

  • Before Big Ed’s, it was the Ute Hamburger. As a boy at Stewart School in the 1930’s, I used to go there for lunch. You could get a nice hamburger for 5 cents.

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