At 103, The Guy's Still Eating Out
Loved this story in the NYT. Corey Kilgannon writes:
It never fails, Harry Rosen said on Wednesday evening as he enjoyed another fine meal by himself in another top-rated Manhattan restaurant.
"Maybe because I'm eating alone at my age, people at other tables start conversations," he said.
Yes, he tells them, he lives alone, in a modest studio apartment on West 57th Street in Manhattan, and he always eats dinner out, always orders the fish.
"They always ask my age, and I often lie and tell them I'm 90," he said. "If I tell them my real age, it becomes the whole subject of conversation and makes it look like I'm looking for attention, which I'm not."
Mr. Rosen is 103 but he doesn't look a day over 90. His mother died at 53 and his father at 70, but he says he feels fine and has had no major operations or health problems.
"I read in a newspaper column a long time ago that the key to a long life is sleeping on your back, so I always did that," said Mr. Rosen, who often finds that his bill has been paid by those friendly diners. Not that he needs it. He made a bundle with his office supply company and is spending it -- $100 a night, on average -- on dinners out.
Much of his work involved wooing clients over lunch and dinner, so after retiring a few years back because of hearing loss, he continued to put on a fine work suit every afternoon, grab his satchel, and head out to hail a yellow cab to one of his favorite restaurants. Café Boulud perhaps, on East 76th Street, or Boulud Sud near Lincoln Center, or Avra Estiatorio on East 48th Street.
"I haven't eaten dinner home in many years," said Mr. Rosen, who tried singles groups and other activities after his wife of 70 years, Lillian, died five years ago, when she was 95.
But nothing brought him the comfort of a fine restaurant.
"It's my therapy, it lifts my spirits," he said Wednesday evening while examining the menu with a magnifying glass at David Burke Townhouse on East 61st Street.
He recently had a six-month fling with a 90-year-old lady, but it didn't work out.