il Tre Merli on West Broadway

At this stage my memories of Soho encompass six decades. Each decade has its more poignant memories. The early 90’s however, signals the start of Soho’s transformation into fashion. At the time there were a few small independent boutiques scattered around the neighborhood. That was it. Looking back now, its hard to image that it could be transformed so much into the fashion destination that it has become today.

I stumbled upon Il tre Merli one evening, after work, just strolling around the neighborhood with my wife. It was a big cavernous space, on West Broadway, just south of Houston and just a few doors before Spring Street, with a long bar along one wall, lots of tables, it was noisy and full of chatty customers. So we hopped in and thus began our once a month visit to this wonderful little boîte.

Our most memorable visit was on a fall, midweek evening about 7 p.m, the big front doors open to the street. We sat just inside the door, enjoying a cocktail just before our meal, when suddenly we see a striking, well dressed young man on rollerblades exiting the street and stopping at the front of the restaurant. He smiles as he brushes past our table and sits at the next table to us, where he joins another already seated young man. It wasn’t long before we realized that the man on the rollerblades was JFK jr. Not long after they were joined by Daryl Hannah, the actress and jr’s girlfriend at the time. Thats the thing about New York. It always surprises.