WHEELS | 1950 Crosley Hotshot roadster

CrosleyHotshotFormer New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s 1950 Crosley Hotshot roadster, left, on display in the Coach Barn at Kykuit.

Last fall, as I wrote here, Mrs. F. and I spent a very nice afternoon at Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate in Sleepy Hollow. Among the many treasures there are Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s extensive car collection. Displayed alongside the massive midcentury behemoths the governor used while in office is a 1950 Crosley Hotshot roadster.

The car, a charmingly-designed convertible that looks more like a dune-buggy than anything else, was first introduced in 1949. Rockefeller’s is a 1950 model. Time magazine has called the 1,100-pound, 149-inch car one of the worst cars of all time, writing:

What killed the Hotshot was its engine, a dual-overhead cam .75-liter four cylinder, not cast in iron but brazed together from pieces of stamped tin. When these brazed welds let go, as they often did, things quickly got noisy, and hot.

The Hotshot was manufactured until Crosley Motors ceased to be in 1952. The company had been founded in 1939 by Cincinnati industrialist Powel Crosley, who made his fortune manufacturing radios and owned the Cincinnati Reds. With the help of his brother, Lewis, he launched Crosley Motors in 1939. The cars enjoyed some popularity during World War II as they were relatively fuel efficient. After the war’s end, the line expanded to include sedans, wagons, coupes and roadsters. At its peak, in 1948, the company sold nearly 25,000 vehicles manufactured at two plants in Indiana and one in Ohio.

Crosley owners included Omar Bradley, Humphrey Bogart, Pamela Harriman, Gloria Swanson, Frank Lloyd Wright and Rockefeller.

SCENE | Saints v. Yale at the Whale

SaintsYale
Saint goalie Matt Weninger turns back a Yale shot during a recent game at Ingalls Rink.

A recent Saturday night was spent in the company of some of our dearest Laurentian friends. A good group of us headed up I-95 to New Haven, where our Skating Saints were squaring off against the Bulldogs of Yale at Ingalls Rink.

Better known as the Whale for its striking and very unique appearance, Ingalls Rink was designed by Eero Saarinen and was constructed between 1953 and 1958. Like our own Appleton Arena, the Whale has a unique timber roof, whose curves are supported by a central concrete arch. The building was recently renovated and was sparkling on Saturday night. Particularly impressive were the distinctive banners, whose diagonal stripes were highlighted by the shields of each ECAC team. The game was less impressive; the Saints dropped a 4-1 decision to the Bulldogs, the No. 1 team in college hockey.

Prior to the game, St. Lawrence hosted a very nice dinner at the New Haven Lawn Club. In addition to cocktails and a decent buffet spread, the Alumni Association’s executive council sponsored a silent auction. I’m told it raised nearly $1,300.

Here’s a photo gallery:

COCKTAILS | Drop into the Stork Club

StorkClubCocktailThe Stork Club cocktail, a liquid relic of Old New York.

Stork Club barA couple of evenings ago, deterred from going out to dinner by the arctic cold, we turned to Dale DeGroff. No, we didn’t ring him up; we opened up his “Essential Cocktail.” From the extensive menu, we selected the Stork Club cocktail, a relic of one of New York’s greatest old night clubs.

The Stork, opened in 1929 by Sherman Billingsley, was among the most exclusive night spots in Old New York. A seat in the club’s storied Cub Room signaled your arrival. Among the cocktails sipped at the Stork Club, was its siganture, a gin, Cointreau and citrus and Angostura. It was one of countless cocktails mixed every night at the bar, left.

We were pleased — particularly because DeGroff’s recipe called for a flamed orange peel, which is accomplished by lightly seering a small peel of orange.

Billingsley’s daughter, Shermane, maintains a charming online archive of the place, which includes an adequate history, radio and TV clips and other electronic ephemera that document the famous 53rd Street haunt. Here’s a particularly entertaining video from the dawn of television:

Here’s the recipe for the cocktail:

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 ounces gin
• 3/4 ounce Cointreau
• 1 ounce orange juice
• 1/2 ounce lime juice
• Dashes Angostura
• Flamed orange peel

Directions
Combine your gin, Cointreau, orange juice, lime juice, Angostura in a shaker over ice. Shake over ice and serve up in a cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

CLIP | Billy Taylor, ‘Three Blind Mice,’ 1958

CLIP | Billy Taylor, ‘Groovin’,’ 1958

CLIP | Art Blakey, ‘Moanin’,’ 1958

TRAILER | ‘To Catch a Thief,’ 1955

CLIP | Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins, 1950

CLIP | Art Blakey, ‘Blues March,’ 1958

CLIP | Sonny Rollins, ‘St. Thomas,’ 1950s

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