Dinner with Allen


by David Cope


We sat in a little Polish restaurant on First Avenue, "Christine's"—menus emblazoned with "Recommended by NY Magazine & Daily News"—mostly younger & middle-aged crowd, Saturday night dates, etc.  Allen ordered breaded veal cutlet, mashed potatoes with gravy on the side and cucumber salad—I ordered for him, as he wanted to step out and pick up a Times. As for me, I ordered mushroom noodle soup, red cabbage, and milk.  When Allen returned, three young boys, 8 to 10 years old, appeared with table napkins for autographs.  He decided the napkins wouldn't do, and produced a small notebook, drawing three drawings:  a Buddha with skull below and stars around; an infinity symbol with snake biting its own tail, again with stars all around; and a flower and snake poised over the earth—autographing all three, and talking briefly to them in German, they, as it turned out, being children of a Danish family visiting New York for the first time.  They dashed back to their table, excitedly showing the elaborate autographs to their parents.  We ate and talked, finishing our meal with a fine big piece of chocolate cake, which we split between us.