Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"I am the 'I.' And I am the 'Y.'"

    Izzy Yereshevsky is one
    of the great portraits in
    bootstrap American lore.
    admired from Moscow and
    the 26th floor, Ukraine.

    Two initials, he once ex-
    plained, sound responsible.
    His I & Y cigar store at
    49th and Seventh Avenue
    closed only for atonement.
    I ran into a spunky cheeky
    capitalist over the week-
    end, back from 3 years in
    Paris, of no acquaintance
    with Liebling. I expected
    our inheritors to be brash,
    but au moindre to acquire
    a regard for their own ash.

    Izzy stays open because of 
    the night-club trade and he 
    gets the night-club trade 
    because he stays open.


A.J. Liebling
The Jollity Building
  Broadway Storekeeper
The Library of America
  The Sweet Science
  and Other Writings
Literary Classics, 2009©

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