Friday, December 5, 2008
Jon Hammer Paintings
Jon Hammer is a painter whose work captures the family-run restaurants and bars that once littered our city; places where you didn't need a reservation, much less a celebrity on your arm to get in.
The painting above is Hammer's tribute to Billy's (948 First Avenue), considered one of New York's oldest family-run restaurants, which closed its doors in 2004 after 134 years in business.
Bryan Miller, in a 1992 New York Times review of Billy's, claimed that the steakhouse menu hadn't changed since the Eisenhower administration and that pleased the patrons just fine.
Wrote Miller: "The Billy's of today retains its Old New York charm, with an ornately carved mahogany bar illuminated by an original gas lantern, red-checked tablecloths and menus posted on the wall. Almost all customers get a hug from the hostess upon entering, and the genial, wisecracking waiters are studies in quiet efficiency."
It seems the only thing left now is Hammer's painting and memories, because according to the New York Sun (now also a thing of the past) Billy's was replaced by a luxury high-rise.
Posted by at 12/05/2008