Seen & Heard: Mea Culpa?

The New Yorker features the Odeon on its cover for the Jan. 4 issue — illustrated by Jorge Colombo — (thanks to M. for the heads-up, since mine comes online) and he and I both surmise that it’s the magazine’s attempt to make amends for its story skewering the restaurant just a few weeks ago. Or it could be coincidence! But either way it’s a beautiful and evocative drawing of the Thomas Street set up, and the backstory on the drawing and the artist is worth a read.

The Q&A with Colombo covers his first experience with an image of the Odeon — on the cover of Jay McInerney’s “Bright Lights, Big City” — and his penchant for observing New York at night, especially now. It also includes his charming live drawings of the Odeon’s buzzing interior, made last February. For this cover, he wanted something that captured a classic image of the city, yet with a nod to our times.

“Even though drawing the Odeon was inspired by old New York,” he told his interviewers, “the detail that feels most current is that mask dangling from the diner’s ear. It’s 2020’s contribution to casual fashion, up there with torn jeans or laceless sneakers.”



  1. That is a special cover. Beautiful. The special details are everything.

  2. Love the cover. I was a young i banker when Odeon was just 5 years old. So its really cool to live close by and see that iconic sign daily

  3. In 1976, when it was still a cafeteria, I could have a full, fresh-cooked breakfast for about $1.25. I believe Odeon still prints its version of the tickets we got out of a machine before we slid our trays along the metal rails, as we chose our food.
    By the way, I finally remembered the name of the coffee shop before it was Socrates (at Hudson and Franklin, now Tamarind)–the Evansville.