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Thoughts While Strolling (6)

February 20, 2008


Something’s Missing. Those frequent springlike rains have not kept us from our daily constitutional. In our walks we have the feeling that something is missing from Croton’s landscape. After some cogitation we finally discovered what it was: Where are the political signs that spring up on lawns like tulips every election season?

Until signs go up, it won’t seem like election time. But there’s still a month to go before the polls open on March 18, so mark your calendar. And remember to vote because the quality of life and government here in Croton will depend on it.

What Croton Really Needs. Whenever we stroll down Grand Street we cast an admiring glance at No. 139, the handsome former residence of Dr. Thomas Jefferson Acker, Croton’s old-fashioned family doctor long ago. It now houses the law offices of attorney Paul S. Hoffman. Memories always come flooding back. We recall it as the site of the gone but not forgotten Croton Steak House, a steak house in the grand tradition.

The Croton Steak House menu was short but robust, with the carefully aged meats rivaling those Peter Luger’s, the Palm or other classic New York steak houses offered. Every cut of meat was personally selected by chef David Sanft and carefully aged. Filet mignon, sirloin, porterhouse, T-bone or rib eye, steaks were broiled to perfection by Dave in a compact kitchen just off the small dining room and served by his wife, June. Sides were limited to the traditional pommes frites, baked potato and creamed spinach.

As closing time approached, Dave, a superb restaurateur, would occasionally join the last few latecomer customers who lingered over coffee and offer a brandy on the house. Always genial, he would reminisce about the golden age of the restaurant business. Sadly, David Sanft died in 1973 at the age of 60. Today the Croton Steak House is only a gastronomic memory to those who had the pleasant experience of eating there.

It is curious that among all the exotic businesses suggested with the idea of restoring Croton’s business climate, no one has proposed an old-fashioned steak house. In this day of franchised steak restaurants all across the country, a reincarnation of the old Croton Steak House may be a impossible dream on our part, but—in the words of the old Yiddish expression—you should live so long.

Another Odd Couple. A little bird has tipped us off about an odd couple we overlooked in Thoughts While Strolling (3), posted on February 11. Sure enough, Board of Election records confirm that at 18 Georgia Lane on Mount Airy, former GOP chairman Mark M. Aarons is registered as a Republican and his wife, Karen, is registered as a Democrat. We can only reiterate what we said about the political brains in such odd-couple families being all on the distaff side.

On February 22, 2008 3:05 PM, TeaDrinker said:

Crotonblog appreciates the loyalty to Mark and Karen Aarons displayed by a thin-skinned “JohnT” in his comment, but he should lighten up. We revealed no deep, dark secrets about them. What we published came directly from public records—in this case, Board of Elections lists showing name, address and party registration. We don’t consider republishing this information to be mean spirited unless you consider Republican or Democrat to be a dirty word. You want really mean spirited? Try what Mitt Romney and John McCain said about one another. Or wait until the national campaigns start. In fact, we consider what we said to be positively light hearted in comparison. And we do think it amusing that the votes of Republican stalwarts in the village should be canceled out by their wives.

P.S. For his information, there are no Communists, young or old, registered in Croton.

On February 22, 2008 10:35 AM, dors said:

Je ne pourrais pas convenir davantage et comment triste.

On February 22, 2008 8:58 AM, red hill resident said:

Sadly, most of the old Communists have passed on in the last few years. What a great loss to our community. While I did not know these neighbors to yell their politics from the rooftops, none were shy about vocalizing their (mostly past) party affiliations. Many an evening was spent listening to stories about tennis courts in the Trails where Trotsky visited and which neighborhood house had an anarchist owner. There was also the recollection of the disdane from the lower village towards residents of the Hill. Seems all too familiar. Plus ca change plus cest la meme chose.

On February 21, 2008 12:46 PM, JohnT said:

I consider Mark and Karen Aarons to be good friends and neighbors. Your point about their their personal political affiliation is both meaningless and mean spirited.

Maybe you can let us know if there are any communists left in our peaceful little village. By all means, please include names and addresses.


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