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Gael Greene's New York City Restaurant Reviews and more....
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Gael Greene  In her role as restaurant critic of New York Magazine (1968 to January 2002) Detroit-born Gael Greene helped change the way New Yorkers (and many Americans) think about food. 

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ice Cream But Were Too Fat To Ask," "The Mafia Guide to Dining Out."   and " Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen" were early pieces.   In more recent years her annual roundup of   New York City's dining favorites, Ask Gael, was a gourmand's collectible for many years and she continues to write a weekly Ask Gael column for NYM. Earlier she worked at the New York Post.

As co-founder with James Beard and a continuing force behind Citymeals-on-Wheels as board chair, Ms. Greene has made a significant impact on the city of New York. Citymeals, the largest public/private partnership in the country, has raised $200 million in its twenty-six-year history to help feed the city's frail elderly shut-ins. 

Ms. Greene's memoir, "Insatiable, Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess" was published April, 2006. Earlier non-fiction books include "Delicious Sex, A Gourmet Guide for Women and the Men Who Want to Love Them Better" and "BITE: A New York Restaurant Strategy." Her two novels Blue skies, No Candy" and "Doctor Love" were NY Times best sellers.

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   As the longest living, eating restaurant critic in the world, or at least on the Upper West Side, I get requests every week for interviews to plumb my supposed expertise and harvest my reveries. Given my selective memory, I try my best to be helpful. 

   What was different about eating out in the 60s? someone asks. You could get a table at a hot restaurant between 6 and 9 pm. Chefs were likely to be found in the kitchen. 

   Is there a prejudice against women restaurant critics? Women chefs, yes; women critics, definitely not. Maybe in 1968 when I started reviewing for New York, but not now.  

  Two women are writing books about Helen Gurley Brown, an amazing dame, a visionary, Arkansas' gift to Hearst. I wrote about 50 articles for Cosmopolitan starting even before Helen arrived to take over and invent the Cosmo girl. So I try to dredge up memories that aren't already in my memoir, "Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess." 

  What do I remember? We both wore falls in the big hair days. And Pucci. I remember her slip showing. I remember her book full of story ideas that she would offer writers she summoned to her desk. The "emo" pieces. And her "icky boo" edits in my major oeuvre: "The Cosmo Girl's Book of Etiquette." She put them into the manuscript. The editor, Jeanette Sarkisian, took them out. I am forever grateful. I remember that even when she had delivered billions to Hearst and lived in luxury with her beloved David Brown on Fifth or (was it Park?) she still refused a car and took the bus to work.

  Last week, Brooke Hauser spent time in the HGB archives before she called to interview me. She sent me a photo of an ancient "Step Into My Parlor," by Helen, on me and Tom Wolfe. Cosmo had published an excerpt from his "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby." I'd written "Freudian Slips and Other Nude Underthings" for her. It seems I claimed a woman's choice of underwear reflected her innermost sexual fantasies. Underpinnings were evolving quickly then from Maidenform rigidity to sheer and colorful, barely-there freedom.


  Later would come the golden 70s when, single again, I carried a satin teddy in my coat pocket to dinner and the disco, just in case I didn't get home to my own bed. At least I remember that.