I turned toward Rockefeller Plaza. There were crowds heavily leaning over the stone rampart looking down at the skaters in the skating rink. There was a rather stout man, in a checkered cap, clowning on the ice, and a little girl, completely costumed, doing astonishing figure eights and leaps, and a couple, she in a mink coat, he in a tuxedo, arm in arm, who must have thought it would be fun skating before dinner. I went down through the people watching into the English Grill to have a drink, and there was Vivian, in a short black velvet skating skirt, having a hot toddy at the bar. Lover, she said, how nice to see you. The hot toddy, steaming in its thick glass, looking medicinal as hell, was wonderful on a cold night, and she really went skating because half the fun was sitting at the bar in the short flaring costume, ordering a toddy; besides, she loved the trouble it put the bartender to.
—Alfred Hayes, In Love
This Classics and Coffee club entry is more boozy than usual, which seems right, given the setting for much of Hayes’s book …
Do you have a picture of an NYRB Classic with coffee or tea (or a beer or toddy)? Send it to this address and we’ll post it here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club).