Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Angelo Bucco's notebook

Artie Bucco's Nuovo Vesuvio is hurting. The problems: tired menu, tired decor, and Artie himself. He's a "warm" and "convivial" host, the guidebooks say, but people want to be left alone to eat and talk; they don't want to listen to his line of patter. One night, with the kitchen closed and some late arrivals wanting a meal, Artie takes out a notebook of his grandfather's recipes and rediscovers the vocation of cooking.

The people at The Sopranos have done a fine job of distressing, but — all due respect — it's easy to recognize this composition book as the kind that one can buy in any big-box store. An old, truly old, book would have a hard, thick cover, and something other than the single sans-serif word Compositions. I'm thinking of the Royal "Vernon Line" composition books of my elementary-school days, with varnished covers and watermarked paper. (Alas, I cannot find a single image of such a composition book online. But I recently saw a reproduction of a Royal inside-rear-cover in R. Crumb's Crumb Family Comics [Last Gasp, 1998].)

Artie is about to prepare coniglio (rabbit), with an animal he shot in his garden. Enjoy!

[Images from "Luxury Lounge," The Sopranos (sixth season, seventh episode). Click for larger views, and note the metric measurements.]

More notebook sightings
Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
Journal d'un curé de campagne
The House on 92nd Street
The Palm Beach Story
Pickup on South Street
Red-Headed Woman

Another Sopranos post
Mediterranean fatalism

comments: 2

T. said...

"An old, truly old, book would have a hard, thick cover, with serif type thereon."

YES! I love that line, and I LOVE your notebook sightings! There's something so alluring about a notebook...the scribbles I voyeuristically try to decipher...the aroma of the pages, if I happen to be holding it in my hands...the book-ness of it - full of possibility, perhaps intrigue, secrets, dreams, lies, new beginnings...Great posts, Michael!

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, T.!

I'd like to see a company such as Levenger revive the Royal design. Could it happen?