“Harry’s Bar” by Alison Chernick – NOWNESS

“Harry’s Bar” by Alison Chernick – NOWNESS


My father was a bartender
in one of the hotels in Venice and he had some very,
very good customers An old lady with her gigolo
and her nephew and they were drinking
all the time The nephew is a young man he’s alone in the hotel,
he had no money so my father realized immediately
that he had no money and he said, “Mr. Pickering,”
he said, “Can I help you? Can I do something for you?” And he said, “Mr. Cipriani, if you
can pay the hotel bill for me… and also pay me the tickets
to go back to the States” At that time it was by ship We’re talking about 1928 And Mr. Pickering left My father never heard from him
for about two years and then he came back
with the money
that my father had given him and more money
to open a bar And his name was Harry it was Harry Pickering,
from Boston My father was very simple simple and intelligent Simplicity is beautiful when it has many, many details Everything you see in Harry’s Bar
has been designed by him All the chairs, the tables everything’s been designed
by my father What he wanted to do
was to make a bar so that all the people from all the hotels
would come and meet and that’s what happened Ernest Hemingway came to Harry’s Bar
the first time in 1948 He spent the whole winter here and he wrote a book,
“Across the River and into the Trees” Truman Capote
used to come here all the time lunch and dinner He had a favorite waiter
by the name of Angelo He was asking everything
to Angelo, Angelo, all the time Orson Welles, when he came
he was hungry and thirsty He wanted to immediately
have in front of him without even speaking
he wanted to have chilled sandwiches and a bottle of Dom Pérignon and then after that he would lie down [inaudible] But they’re not more important
than other people, you know Everybody comes to Venice and nearly everybody
comes to Harry’s bar What is important
is they come back The way my father was doing was to treat
people like kings and kings like people

5 thoughts on ““Harry’s Bar” by Alison Chernick – NOWNESS

  1. Excellent. I always wanted to visit Harry's Bar and have a plate of pasta and a good drink, only with somebody special who would appreciate the story we have seen here. And naturally, love Venice, its art and people.

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