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Phyllis Richman's Essay on Parkinson's Disease


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Crackers, thank you for the link with Phyllis' thoughts. I was not aware of this. For all of the chefs, all of the restauranteurs who have helped promote and represent D. C. Phyllis is as important, perhaps most important of all. I followed her for thirty years in the Post, disagreed with her far too many times to mention. Still, she was/is an eloquent, expressive writer, an absolute treasure both nationally and locally as well as a native born Washingtonian who loved and lives for this city, the city in which both of us were born. She goes back, as do I, to Weihle's on Kennedy street when Abe was just a few blocks down the street with the first Jerry's sub shop-before the move to Wheaton. Stephenson's then still had lines in Anacostia for their black and white checkerboard boxed pies and cakes and Benny's ruled the wharf with its fish sandwiches and potatoes fried in lard. Coolidge and Paul were THE schools of choice.

We relate to then and her...

Carol and I are approaching her age which, shortly will be ours'. We really could be next in line for Parkinson's: we are each sixty. Her thoughts and fears are heard, they reverberate over and over for both of us. My God, I've grown up with her!!!

I wish her the absolute best, in dining and in health. She is a treasure.

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Phyllis is as important, perhaps most important of all. I followed her for thirty years in the Post, disagreed with her far too many times to mention. Still, she was/is an eloquent, expressive writer

And this column was her finest moment - I'll remember it for the rest of my life. I had dinner with her several months ago at Maestro, and I had no idea.

Please direct your attention to her 1997 Restaurant Guide here, now ten-years young.

Oh, and Phyllis, you still owe me that autograph, dammit.

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Let's not forget that before she gave up writing restaurant criticisms for the WaPo, she embarked on another career writing "mysteries." Who can forget "The Butter Did It" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Ham?" Truly a woman of many talents.

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On 5/26/2005 at 5:42 PM, Lydia R said:
Thanks, this chronology was a real trip down memory lane.

Just in case this list made you hungry too, I'm tossing in a link I've been holding onto for a while. I realize there's more than one Post-Toastie lurking here - please don't spike this link - it's oddly soothing.

NOTE: my intent here is to share this virtual stroll - visiting tenured favorites, glimpsing early glimmers of promising things to come, and remembering those gone over to "that big kitchen in the sky." I'd thought about posting the link on C'hound, but didn't want the discussion pulled by the Team who'd anticipate critic critiques - miss Phyllis, but don't want anyone beating on Tom-Tom.

Phyllis Richman's 1997 Top 50

I just leafed through this list (again), and I count 36 of the restaurants (72%) - 14 years later - still open.

This post is dedicated to my friend and mentor, Bob Greenspun - the father of EPA Echo - who is my superior in every measurable definition of the term.

PS - Thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing Bob's brainchild (and make no mistake about it: If it weren't for Bob Greenspun, ECHO would not exist).

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I just leafed through this list (again), and I count 36 of the restaurants (72%) - 14 years later - still open.

Yeah, but some of them are relatively wretched: City Lights of China, Duangrat's, La Fourchette, Nora, Old Angler's Inn, Rockland's, Tara Thai: Would these make anybody's top 50 today?

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Yeah, but some of them are relatively wretched: City Lights of China, Duangrat's, La Fourchette, Nora, Old Angler's Inn, Rockland's, Tara Thai: Would these make anybody's top 50 today?

We're now 64-my post above was four years ago. An incredibly powerful, passionate statement from Phyllis that again brought tears to my eyes.

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I just leafed through this list (again), and I count 36 of the restaurants (72%) - 14 years later - still open.

This post is dedicated to my friend and mentor, Bob Greenspun - the father of EPA Echo - who is my superior in every measurable definition of the term.

PS - Thank you, Mr. President, for recognizing Bob's brainchild (and make no mistake about it: if it weren't for Bob Greenspun, ECHO would not exist).

And by the way, 18 years later, I count 30 of the restaurants (60%) still open.

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That was a terrific editorial piece by Phyllis Richman.  I don't recall it nor knew of her having Parkinson's.  Very emotive, thoughtful, descriptive, researched, etc.  A piece worth rereading for a look into how diseases might be funded and fought with congressional help.

I was close to someone at the Post who worked with or around Phyllis Richman at the Post.  As a result I met her several times.  It was no more than a handshake and a hello.  From what I knew she was very well respected, revered, liked and was given great respect.  She plied her craft with integrity.

In her hey day at the Post she was the singular most powerful voice on restaurants in the region.  No other voice came close for having impact.  It was a very very different time, with the Post being the huge monopoly voice from the media.   As a real estate broker leasing restaurants (and retail) and knowing restaurant operators, it was clear that her columns had the ability to make a restaurant.  At one point in the late 80's I visited an operator with whom I had been great friends, and with whom I had socialized with.   We had gone in different directions and had lost touch for a couple of years.  He had opened a restaurant and Phyllis Richman had given it a superb review.  When my then gf and I visited shortly after that review and saw him the place was packed and he was beyond ecstatic.  The review meant all the difference.

Joe H above gives her a place in the highest echelon of restaurant people in this area.  He would know better than I, but I'd agree with him.  As to the top 50 list from 18 years ago, there seems something quaint about that list relative to the quality and diversity of restaurants today.  Nice to know that many are still around even if they no longer are of the same quality they were back then, or have been surpassed, or have lost visibility.

But back to her piece on Parkinson's.   That is an article worth reading, imho.

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I remember when Phyllis and I sat at a table at Maestro. Fabio and crew had put on a wonderful media dinner (I still have the bottle of Balsamico Vinegar in the gift bag), and I was lucky enough to have sat at a table with Phyllis.

Phyllis, if you're reading this, it was certainly one of the great thrills of my life. 

I was new, idealistic (now I'm old and idealistic), and insisted on paying for my meal - it was a bit awkward, but so it was.

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On 10/25/2011 at 11:09 PM, Joe H said:

We're now 64-my post above was four years ago. An incredibly powerful, passionate statement from Phyllis that again brought tears to my eyes.

I re read her article from 2007 thanks to Don's post above.  I concur with what Joe said in '07 and '11 and what Don said in 2007:  the article is invaluable and meaningful.  I know there have been some improvements in Parkinsons's treatment between 2007 and now.  I hope some of those improvements might have found there way to Phyllis Richman and enhanced her life.

 

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