A Review: Thomas Kiedrowski, Andy Warhol’s New York City
July 17, 2011
Andy Warhol’s New York City
Four Walks Uptown To Downtown
Review by R.E. Prindle
Kiedrowsky, Thomas, Andy Warhol’s New York City, Four Walks Uptown To Downtown, Little Bookroom, 2011
A new little informative paperback guide book by Thomas Kiedrowsky has been issued by The Little Bookroom. Kiedrowski, an ardent Andyphile conducts tours to Warhol sites in NYC. He has spent a decade or so researching the artist.
Perhaps because he conducts tours he has failed to include maps for the four tours in order to protect his turf. They would have been helpful. He organized his volume into four areas: Upper East Side to 70th St., Upper East Side 57th to 68th sts., Midtown and Downtown. This admirable little volume successfully embeds Warhol in his milieu clarifying a number of issues.
Mr. Kiedrowski also turns up some facts I haven’t read before thus supplementing Steven Watson’s Factory Made which provides needed info about Andy’s entourage.
Mr. Kiedrowski provides the abolutely entrancing story of Andy as a prospective restauranteur quoted here:
Site 18, 1977, 833 Madison Ave. (74th St.)
The first link in a proposed international chain of Andy Warhol fast food restaurants would have opened at this location in 1977. The concept of the Andy-Mat, a clever take on the Automat, had Warhol and British entrepreneur Godfrey Leeds in talks since 1974. Both men had enjoyed dining at Schrafft’s years earlier and had yearned for that type of comfort food they had as kids. Leeds said that the Andy-Mat would be a “neighborhood restaurant with a varied menu, simple good food, reasonable prices, a place where you don’t have to be embarrassed to take someone- one was never embarrassed to take someone to Schrafft’s.”
During the Silver Factory days, Warhol and his entourage could often be found at Schrafft’s located at 556 Fifth Avenue and 47th Street, and Warhol was asked to do a commercial for Schrafft’s in 1968. The 60 second spot shows an image of a red dot, then slowly zooms out to reveal a maraschino cherry and then a melting chocolate ice cream sundae. At the end a credit line rolls diagonally, “The chocolate sundae was photographed for Schrafft’s by Andy Warhol.
[As described an artistic success but a complete waste of advertising money, reviewer.]
Warhol asked close friend and society hostess Maxine (sic) de la Falaise McKendry (she appeared in Warhol’s Dracula) to prepare a menu for the 115 seat Andy-Mat, which she did with guidance from Tony Berns of the Restaurant 21. She often cooked for Warhol’s Factory regulars and at one time was a food columnist for Vogue. The seventy-five items were to be priced between $1 and $5.75 and included shepherd’s pie, fishcakes, Irish lamb stew, fried onion tart, mashed potatoes, key lime pie, champagne fruit drinks, milk over ice, and a choice among four omelets. (Warhol’s diet regimen at the time.) Said Andy: “I really like to eat alone. I want to start a chain of restaurants for other people who are like me called Andy-Mats- ‘The Restaurant for the Lonely Person.’ You get your food and then you take your tray into a booth and watch television.”
Apparently 40K had already been spent on development with another million in the pipeline when the plan was aborted. It’s not difficult for me to see why but then…who knows, it might have worked.
Mr. Kiedrowski fills his little guide book with such interesting tidbits many of which I had never read before.
I heartily recommend the book for a very entertaining read at a price under 12.00. Some nice pictures I haven’t seen before too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaf6zF-FJBk Watch Andy eat a hamburger.