STREETS of FIRE
Starring : Micahel Pare and Daine Lane
with Willem Dafoe
Theme Song : I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU
by Dan Hartman
My Ex-Girlfriend Isabelle
Posed for Famed Illustrator ANTONIO LOPEZ
For This Ad for OSCAR de la RENTA
New York NY
"NELL ' ARIA"
"NELL ' ARIA"
This is one of the Sexiest most powerful Love Songs you will ever hear.
Listen to it, Mina Passion, Sexiness, and Powerhouse Voice.
I never hear of Mina, until I met my Girlfriend Isabelle in 1983.
NEW YORK NY
Missing You by John Waites was a favorite of my ex-girlfriend Isabelle, she really liked this song, and whenever I hear it, I immediately think of her, along with several other top hits of the time that Isabelle and I were going out togeter back in 1983 / 84 when I lived in the jumping East Village of 1980s New York.
Those were some great times. I was in my 20s and I thought I could conquer the World back then, and dating a top High Fashion Model who was with Ford Mosels and was also a House Model for Oscar de la Renta sure didn't hurt none. Yes the East Village abdd downtown New York was jumping then. This was the time of Madonna and the major art scene of Graffitti Artsist like, Keith Haring , Jean Michele Basquiat , Francesco Clemente , and otheer , who were among the hottest and biggest selling artist in the world at the time, including Andy Warhol who was still living and who took the young Basquit under his wings and even collaberated on a couple of projects together.
Yes, bacck then, I really felt as I could conquer the World. I was young and full of piss and vinegar as they say. I felt as though I could walk through brick walls. I woarked two jobs, I worked hard ad Played Hard, going out to the top Night Clubs of the day, like: Area, Danceteria, Carmelitas, Underchine, The Milk Bar, Palladium, all the hot bars, restuarants, and a lot of good private parties, a few of which were up at Isabelle 's apartment on 87th Street, sipping Champagne and eating Caviar which Isabelle could never get enough of, and she'd always bring back tins of the stuff from Petrossian ever time she did runway shows for the Pret di Port in Paris for the likes of designers Yves Saint Laurent , and Oscar de la Renta.
Wow, I started off talking about how this song by John Waite was one of Isabelle's favvorites, and I go off on a tagent on the 1980s, the East Village and the downtown New York art and party scene. Well they all do tie together you see. That's where Maddonna got started with Jellybean Benitez and others, dancing at Dancteria and Lucky Strike, private parties and what-not. She had her first Top 10 Hit with Holiday, although her first two singles Everybody and Burning Up did have pretty good sucess. Yes I was having quite a good time in the 80s, going out with girls, working, and playing with friends like my buddies Raoul, Drew, Jay, and my Buddy Bobby Martinez who was one of Madonna's famous Puerto Rican Boy Toys (I kid you not).
Well, back to some of the other music and Isabelle's favorite songs, like Hold Me Now by The Thompson Twins, TRUE by Spandau Ballet, Missing You and a slew of others. This is when MTV started out and Isabelle just loved that station. I remember spending whole nights with her drinking champagne and watching MTV as isabelle taped the videos on a VHS Recorder to make tapes of MTV Music Videos of Michael Jackson , David Bowie , The Police , and other artist to bring down to her friends and family in Caracas , Venezuela when she went for visits two times a year (her native country).
ME in The 80s
Long before my teenage forays into Greenwich Village I dreamed of moving to New York City one day. And in particular, I dreamed of living in Greenwich Village. And guess what? I did. I moved to New York City in December of 1982, to a 2 bedroom apartment with my good friends Jay Fahy. We were very good friends and we both wanted to live in the city. I was already working at a restaurant for almost two years, John's of 12th Street, a famous old-school Italian Restaurant on East 12th Street in the East Village of New York. A checked out a few apartments and I got lucky when I was able to get a 2 bedroom apartment through a girl I knew (Marta) that I met at John's. Marta's mother had gotten an apartemnt for hers son, who shared it with another guy. They ended up living there for only 6 months and wanted to move out. Lucky for me, Mrs. Lagostz let me take the apartment over, though the Witch of a Landlord, Mrs. Schlesinger agreed that I could live there, she wouldn't put me on the lease, and I had to pay her every month with a Money Order, instead of a check. This was ilegal. She descrimated against me simply because of my age, even though, I've always made my own money, I've always worked and had a job, and I've always paid my rent. Anyway, Jay and I moved into 131 Avenue A, at the corner pf Saint Mark's Place in December of 1982. We were young guys. I was 24 at the time, and Jay was a couple years older. He had finished Law School, passed the Bar Exam, and became a US Attorney out of Jerset City, New Jersey, He took the Path to work everyday. It was about a 12 minute walk from Avenue A and St Mark's to get to the Path Station at the corner of 6th Avenue and West 9th Street. Then wait for the train to come and take the 15 minute ride to Jersey City. It was quite good for Jay, and even more ideal for me. I worked 3 nights a week at John's which was just a short 5 block walk from our apartment. The rent was super cheap, just $400 a month when we started in 1982. Even when I moved out 11 years later, when I got an apartment through Mario Flotta (the owner of Caffe Dante), I was only paying $650 a month rent. I probably should have stayed there, and never left. The problem was the old witch landlored wouldn't put me on the lease, and because of that I never felt completey secure living there, even though I did, for a substancial 11 years. I get into the details of how and why I left later.
So Jay and I moved in together. We had good times. We did our own thing each, and we'd go out to the local bars and clubs together as well. So, as I said, I was working 3 nights a week at John's on 12th Street, working as a waiter and bartender, but that wasn't my only job. I was actually aspiring to become a chef, so I worked cooking in restaurants full time. I'd get a job cooking during the day (4 days), and usually had to cook one dinner shift a week, so I was able to work at John's. I work 2 jobs for 7 years, always working at John's those 3 night s a week and cooking during the day full time. Some days I'd have to be into work at 9:30 am to cook the lunch shift or do prep work. I'd work to 4 o'clock, run out of work, hop on a train (Subway) downtownm, get off the train, run home, hop in the shower, then run the 5 blocks to John's and wait tables until about 12 Midnight. I'd get out of work, then go to some club for a couple hours before going home., always looking for love, and just having good times with friends. As they say, "I worked hard, and played hard." I was in my twenties and I could do it back then.
I had some good friends and when I had time I'd go out for dinner, to bars, and clubs each and every week. Some of my favorite bars back in those days were in the East Village, in my very own neighborhood. Probably my favorite was the Holiday Lounge, just a block from my apartement on St Marks Place just a few feet west of 1st Avenue. It was a cool neighborhood East Village Bar, owned by Stephon, a Ukrainian man in his mid 60s I think. The place had a good jukebox, a cool vibe, and best of all I could get a Stoli & Grapefruit (my favorite Cocktail) for just $3 .. Jay loved the place too, and when his brother Richie, and our friends Carlo Cavallo, and Phil Jones would come into the city to visit us, Jay and I would always bring them to The Holiday Lounge and The Pyramid Club on Avenue A. We had lots of great times.
The Holiday Lounge was a great place to go and get prime on a $3 drink, before heading over to one of the Clubs of the day, where drinks were a lot more expensive than the bargain drinks a the Holiday. "Thanks Stephon." The hot clubs of the day, were The Mudd Club on White Street, Area, The Tunnel, The Undergorund (Union Square), Danceteria, and The Paladium. There was also Underchine which was under The hot Vietnamese Restaurant Indochine, Carmelitas (On Tuesday Nights), The World (Frank Riccio), The Purple Barge, and few other places that might have been hot for a few months, but faded fast and went out of business.
Yes I had great times in my twenties living in New York's East Village, playing hard and working much harder. I worked hard so I could buy good clothes, goo out to eat, and to bars, and clubs, and so after working hard all year long, I could go to Italy every Summer, to Rome, Venice, Positano, Capri, and Spain, and the SOuth of French, on The French Riviera. I busted my butt to do these thing, and I loved it. Working full time cooking in restaurants as a line cook or prep cook, at the time, by the time I paid taxes, I would bring home just about $350 a week. To pay rent (Jay moved out after 1 year), buy clothes, feed myself, go out to eat and have good times, and take my trip to Italy, and some years, a week in Paris in the Winter, I worked those 3 night a week at John's and made about $400 a week for those 3 nights, so I was pulling in between $700 to $800 a week. Unfortunely I spent most of it, and didn't really save much in those years, but as I've said, I was young and wanted to have a good time. I worked hard jsut so I could do that, so? I do wish I would have saved a little more in those years, but what did I no. I come from a family that didn't have much, and now that I was an adult and making my own money, I was going to live the good life. And I learned a loit from my travels and doing all the things I did in those formative years of my 20s and 30s. Experiences to last a lifetime.
Some of places I cooked at during those 7 years were : 24 Fifth with Chef Michel Fitousi who was at the time "The King of Nouvelle Cooking" in New York Michel was really goo to me. I also worked with him at The Palace Restaurant before that (most wxpensive Restuarant in NYC), and at The Stanhope Hotel. I also cooked at Woods on Madison, and Caio Bella Restaurant, and the Odeon with the late great Chef Patrick Clarke, whose uncle was one of my Professors at New York Technical College (Brooklyn), in The Hotel Restaurant Mgt. & Culinart Arts Department of the College.
The reason for working a number of jobs during those 7 years, for those who might not know, when you aspire to become a Chef, you shouldn't stay with just one restaurant and one chef the first few years you are learning the trade of cooking. You should work about a year at each restaurant with a renowned, skilled chef, then move on to another restaurant, with another great chef, and that's exactly what I did. I worked with 3 really great chefs. As I've already stated, I worked with Patrick Clarke at The Odeon and Cafe Luxenbourg, and with the great Michel Fitousi. I originally wanted to just cook French Food, which I was trained in at Culinary School at New York Tech College. AMoung our numerous textbooks, the most famous was the Escofier Cookbook and Louis Diat's as well. We had a professor, Professor Ahrens who would always instill in us that we had the Escofier Cookbook as our textbook, and that he was the greatest Chef of All-Time in the history of the World and Culinary Arts, and that we were fortunate to be getting such a great education in the French Culinary Arts, and learning how to cook dishes by Escoffier himself, and to be getting a solid knowledge of French Haute Cuisine, the greatest cuisine in the entire World.
Yes I loved cooking French Food, and I did, but after going to Italy for the first time in 1985, and being of Italian Heritage myself, and Italian Restaurants and authentic Italian Cuisine becoming all the rage in the 1980s, I decided that I wanted to learn how to cook great Italian Food, and so I sought out a great Italian Chef to work with, and to learn authentic Italian Cuisine. Again, I did just that. I applied to 3 great Italian Restaurants with 3 great chefs. I ended up getting offered a job by all 3, but Chef Pasquale at Ciao Bella was the first to offer me a job and I took it. Ciao Bella was a hot restaurant at the time. I started working, cooking lunch 4 days a week and 1 dinner. I started learning from Pasquale. Within 2 weeks, the Chef at Arcqua offered me a job, and Chef Sandro at Sandro's on 59th offered me a job as well, but I already started working with Chef Pasquale at Ciao Bella and I was happy there.
Chef Pasquale taught me how to make a great Ragu Bolognese, Lasagna Bolognese, a tasty Salsa Pomodoro, Timaballo, Gnocchi, a great Pasta Fagioli, Risotto, and other Italian Classics. My boss was Enrico Proetti from Nettuno, Italy, and I've stayed friends and stayed in-touch with Enrico to this very day, 24 years later and will beyond that. With my skills in Classical French Cuisine, and my new skills, and dishes taught to me by Chef Pasquale, I was gaining quite a good repetoire of food, and learning more and more of the cusine of Italy.
Durng those years I had a few girlfiends, including Iris, Isabelle, Merceditas, Dante, and a few other girlfriends in-between. I started going to Iatly most years, with trips to Paris in-between. I was living and learning about life, working hard, and getting all sorts of experiences.
I met Iris in 1981 before I moved into New York I fell madly in love with here. She was a gorgeous Peruvian girl. I was mad about her. She had style and grace, and the love making between us was amazing. I never loved any woman in my life the way I loved Iris. She broke up with me after about a year and a half together and I was absolutley crushed. I wanted to marry her. I loved her that much. I was devasted when she brok up with me. I carried a hard torch for Iris for 6 years. After we split up, I went on a tear. I went out with as many women as I could. I thought I was a Playboy, and wanted to make love to beautiful women whenever I could, but I never ever fell in love with any woman they way I loved Iris, and I never ever felt like getting married to any other woman other than Iris, and I never did. I never got married, and as of this writing in 2022, I am not married, I never did get married, and most likely I probably will not ever get married. But who knows? Maybe one day I will. Highly unlikely, but not impossible. It was never really in my heart to get married, other than when I was madly in love with Iris. Though not in my heart, it is in my mind, sort of to get married one day, for I'm worried when I get older, and although I've taken care of myself and been on my own since I was just 19 years old, I do know that maybe I shoudl get married and not be alone when I get old (I'm 64 now). Will it ever happen? Who knows?
I MEET ISABELLE
Yes I was seeing a few girls all the time. I met Isabelle one day in 1983. Her friend Ilma had a Venezuelan Restaurant on 2nd Avenue where I first met Isabelle. It was The 11 Cafe, the 1st ever Venezuelan Restaurant in New York City. I always loved trying new cusines from all around the World, and when this new Venezuelan place opened in the East Village, I wanted to go and check it out, so I went in one night on a night I wasn't working at John's. I sat down at the counter and this gorgeous wome says hello and is waiting on me. I was instantlay smitten. She was tall, thin, and gorgeous. He name was Isabelle, and she was helfping her friend Ilma at the restaurant. I ate my first Venezuelan food ever. I think I had Pabellon that night. It's a palte of Rice & Beans, with fried Sweet Plantains and Carne Mecahda (Braised Shredded Beef). I was geat. I talked to Isabelle and was smitten as I've already stated. I wanted to go out with her, but I didn't ask her out that night. I went back a couple nights later, and Isabelle was there. We chatted, I had some Arepas, and the vibe was good, and I was shocked when I asked Isabelle if she wanted to go out on a date, she said "Yes, I'd Love to," I couldn't beleive it.
A play on Broadway at the time was 9, which was based on Felini's film 8 1/2 ... The play starred Lilianne Montevecchi and Segio Franchi. I asked Isabelle if she would like to go. She was thrilled, and so I got a pair of tickets for us. The night of the paly I went up to 87th Street to pick Isabelle up and go tot he show. When I got to her apartment, "Wow," again I was mesmerized. She had a big beautiful apartment, the kind that at the time I could no way afford, and could only dream about. I was both impressed and thrilled. I can't remember if I found out at The 11 Cafe that Isabelle was a top model for Oscar de la Renta or not. It probably was.
Isabelle made me a drink, and we had a nice time before heading out to go see the Broadway Play "9" ... Anyway, Isabelle and I hit it off and became a couple. I loved her, and we had a lot of good times toghether, going to her Venezuelan friends parties (many), going out to the best restaurants around town, naking dinner at her place, hanging out at The 11 Cafe, going to The Village Gate, to a Tina Truner Concert, to Studio 54, and what not. We had lots of good times. I went to all her show she did for Oscar de la Renta, and other runway shows she worked throught the Ellen Harth and Ford Agencies.
We dated for a year and a half and I was surpised it lasted that long, but in the end, it fizzled out. I'm glad that Isabelle and I had those times together. Sadly Isabelle had liver problems and passed away at a young age in 1999. I think of her often. God Bless you Isabelle, and rest in peace my dear. I always remeber you and our times together.
Whenever I see a bottle of PIPER HEIDSIECK CHAMPAGNE, it always makes me think of Isabelle and the time she called me up at 10 in the morning and asked me if I wanted to come over and if I could stop and get a bottle of Champagne along the way. "Ah the Good ol Days. Champagne and Caviar at 11 in The Morning," it's not a bad way to start the day.
Modeling Card of Isabelle Oduber
Caracas / New York Fashion Model
Jean Michel Basquiat
1980s NEW YORK
Downtown Art Scene
KIETH HARING 'S Original RADIANT BABY
Spawned the ArtFourm article RADIANT CHILD by Rene Ricard
This article by Ricard made Graffiti Artists like Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring , and
Jean Michel Baquiat Famout Over Night
POET / WRITER
When Italian-Americans Cook
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
BUY IT !
"I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU"
(Another on of ISABELLE'S Favorite Songs)
by Dan Hartman
From STREETS of FIRE
Another of my ex-girlfriend Isabelle Oduber 's favorite songs, and one that always brings me back and makes me think of Isabelle instantly.
NEW YORK CITY
Into The GROOVE
Me and Isabelle
on INSTAGRAM @DanielBellinoZwicke
POSITANO The AMALFI COAST
ITALY TRAVEL GUIDE / COOKBOOK
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
"I LOVE NEW YORK"
"I LOVE COFFEE" !!!!