Have you ever wandered around 9th Avenue’s wonderful bar and restaurant scene and passed Mickey Spillane’s? If you were like us, you probably thought it was named for the famous pulp novelist. Quite the contrary! In fact, after learning more, we cannot wait to go there.
Mickey Spillane was married to a Matriarch of New York (according to the NY Times), Maureen McManus (Spillane). She recently passed away and when we found out that this 78 year old woman was described as a mother, a grandmother, a night owl, a gambler, and a good neighbor, we had to know more. It’s not too often we hear someone our grandmothers’ age described as a night owl or a gambler. Up to her death, she was calling her bookie three times a day, placing a modest bet. When her husband was shot in Queens, she moved the entire family back ‘home’ to Hell’s Kitchen the NEXT DAY! This woman was not to be messed with!
She was an unusual woman by today’s standard but a testament to old New York. She is part of the generation who claimed turf to their neighborhood and knew when someone who didn’t smell right stepped in her territory. The old days of hard-nosed immigrants standing their ground and running neighborhoods are being taken over. In the world of corporate cookie cutter boring restaurants and menus, I applaud Mickey Spillane’s and think that we should all have a beer in Mrs. Spillane’s honor.
The world’s a changing but we shouldn’t forget how we got here.