In Relocating, a Bar Will Lose No Claim to Celluloid Fame

The Emerald Inn, an Irish pub on the Upper West Side, will move to a new location in the neighborhood.Karsten Moran for The New York Times The Emerald Inn, an Irish pub on the Upper West Side, will move to a new location in the neighborhood.

The Emerald Inn, the Upper West Side bar that was the setting for a scene in the movie “The Apartment,” is moving to the site of a bar that figured in another, much darker, movie, “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”

The Emerald, as regulars call it, had announced its closing last month. Charlie Campbell, whose grandfather opened the bar during World War II, said the landlord had asked for double the current rent of $17,500 a month. Mr. Campbell said he could not afford that.

He said on Wednesday that he had gotten a deal to move to the ground-floor space at 250 West 72nd Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue, that was once occupied by a bar called W.M. Tweeds.

It was there, on New Year’s Day in 1973, that a schoolteacher who was a regular customer walked in for a drink and walked out with another customer. They went to her apartment, where he raped and killed her. The incident served as the basis for a novel by Judith Rossner that was published in 1975 and for a film that was released in 1977. It starred Diane Keaton and Richard Gere.

Tweeds — a play on the name of the Tammany Hall boss, William M. Tweed — closed after the murder and reopened as the All State Café. But the All State Café closed in 2007, itself a victim of a rent increase. Another bar, P.D. O’Hurley’s, took over the space last fall, promising moderately priced “comfort food and good drinks” and live music on Saturday nights, according to its Facebook page. It closed by mid-February.

Mr. Campbell said he would pay “relatively the same rent but have much more space” in the new location. “My plan is making it a sports bar,” he said. “I’m going to put TVs up in the back room.”

He said it would open on June 1. The Emerald on Columbus Avenue will close by April 30, he said.

The old Emerald was a longtime haunt for ABC News personalities — the network’s headquarters are a few blocks away — and was the backdrop for the Christmas Eve scene in “The Apartment.” Jack Lemmon, drowning his sorrows at the bar, was oblivious as Hope Holiday shot straw-paper wrappers at him. Finally she took the seat next to him and offered a deal: She would put some music in the jukebox if he would buy her a drink. The song was “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The drink was a rum Collins.

Although the Web site West Side Rag reported on Thursday night that the Emerald was moving, it was about an hour after Mr. Campbell had said his new landlord had yet to receive the $100,000 deposit that would clinch the deal.

Mr. Campbell said on Friday morning that the check still had not been delivered. When he was asked whether the deal was still on, he said, “I believe so, yes.”

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Fast-Food Union Organizers Get Some Historical Perspective

Baxter Leach, center, and Alvin Turner, right, during a meeting of fast-food workers on Thursday in New York. Mr. Leach and Mr. Turner were sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968 in Memphis. They came to New York to encourage fast-food workers in their efforts to unionize.Tina Fineberg for The New York Times Baxter Leach, center, and Alvin Turner, right, during a meeting of fast-food workers on Thursday in New York. Mr. Leach and Mr. Turner were sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968 in Memphis. They came to New York to encourage fast-food workers in their efforts to unionize.

When Alvin Turner and Baxter Leach joined a strike in Memphis in 1968, they were two sanitation workers protesting the abuse of black employees and demanding higher wages and the recognition of their union. They recalled being beaten and assaulted with tear gas by the police during marches. But after more than 60 days, the strike ended with the city granting many of their demands.

More than four decades later, in November 2012, New York City’s fast-food workers started their own campaign to improve conditions, calling for the creation of a union and a wage of $15 an hour. Workplace experts called it the largest organized effort ever by fast-food workers. But after a one-day strike in which 200 employees walked out, little has changed for workers at the thousands of hamburger, sandwich and taco restaurants that fill the city.

Which is why Mr. Turner, 78, and Mr. Leach, 73, traveled to Manhattan this week to give a series of pep talks to fast-food servers facing an uphill unionization campaign. “The same fight that we fought in 1968, we are fighting today,” Mr. Turner said Thursday, during an appearance at City University of New York.

Mr. Turner made 65 cents an hour when he began working for the Memphis Sanitation Department in 1951, a pittance even for that era. He and Mr. Baxter worked as garbage collectors, running behind homes, dumping trash into large tubs and hoisting those tubs onto their heads.

They especially remember the maggots, they said. And the fact that the color of their skin restricted them from higher-paying jobs. “I had gotten tired of saying ‘yes,’” to abuse,” Mr. Turner said, “when I knew I should be saying ‘no.’”

During the strike, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to support the 1,300 striking workers. And, of course, it was in Memphis where he was assassinated.

Striking sanitation workers and their supporters are flanked by bayonet-wielding National Guard troops and armored vehicles during a march on City Hall in Memphis on March 29, 1968.Charlie Kelly/Associated Press Striking sanitation workers and their supporters are flanked by bayonet-wielding National Guard troops and armored vehicles during a march on City Hall in Memphis on March 29, 1968.

The strike ended less than two weeks later with the city agreeing to raise wages and recognize the union. Mr. Turner explained how this changed his life: “After the strike, one of those machines that they didn’t allow me to hardly look at” — it was called a sweeper — “I started operating it. This is how I could get my kids through school. And I put four kids through school.”

New York’s fast-food unionization campaign, called Fast Food Forward, is organized by New York Communities for Change, and has the support of several other organizations, including the Service Employees International Union. But organizers have struggled to convince food servers that improved conditions are possible.

While workers have plenty to lament — average wages hover just above $8 an hour, or $18,000 a year for a full-time employee — heavy worker turnover and a general apprehension of unions has made organizing a challenge.

Chad Tall, 20, a Taco Bell employee who wants to unionize, said the campaign is stuck in its awareness phase. “There isn’t a next step right now,” he said.

Mr. Tall, who lives in the Bronx, is his family’s primary wage earner. He makes $7.50 an hour and works about 30 hours a week. He dropped out of college because he could not afford to pay for courses. “I’m not trying to be a millionaire working at Taco Bell,” he said. “But I do want the basics. I don’t want to have to sacrifice breakfast to buy a Metro Card.”

On Mr. Tall’s block, nearly everyone he knows works in fast-food restaurants, he said. So do at least six of his friends. He joined the campaign because he does not want to continue a situation in which, he said, “we’re treated like workhorses and paid like slaves” and “the only babysitter you can afford is the crackhead on the corner.”

At CUNY, Mr. Leach and Mr. Turner sat in a circle with Mr. Tall and about a dozen other workers and clergy members. “For all of you to win anything, you’re going to have to stand up,” Mr. Turner said .

“If you don’t stand up, you’re going to stay with what you got,” he continued. “And if you do stand up, you’re opening the door for someone else.”

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A Date’s Awkward End on the Subway

Dear Diary:

Last fall, I had been out to a concert with a man I had been dating. After an evening of fun, we headed toward the subway to go to our respective homes. My date was moving to a new apartment, so there was some question about which stop we’d be choosing to say goodbye, adding to the inevitable awkwardness that comes with the early stages of getting to know someone.

When we got to the 14th Street stop, he quickly realized he had to be at the apartment nearest there to receive a furniture delivery in the morning. With barely any warning, he left the crowded train, giving me a clumsy hug and a quick kiss on his way out.

I sat down to continue on to Brooklyn, no doubt looking a little downtrodden about dating in New York, and noticed a lovely older couple sitting across from me. The woman, who thought I couldn’t hear her, said to her husband, “It must be so hard to have to say good night like that on the subway!” Her husband saw that I had heard her and smiled politely at me. The woman repeated herself two or three times to her blushing husband until she finally realized I could hear her.

“It’s true!” I exclaimed from across the aisle. “It’s totally awkward! You’re exactly right. Thank you for saying so!”

She smiled sheepishly at me, as her sweet husband flashed me a knowing smile and said, “There’s always tomorrow, dear.”

How did he know exactly what I needed to hear?


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Weak Job Market Leaves City’s Unemployment Rate Flat

A strike by school bus drivers and layoffs on Wall Street contributed to a weak job market in New York City last month and kept the city’s unemployment rate well above the nation’s, the State Labor Department reported on Thursday.

The city’s unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in February, unchanged from January. The national rate fell in February to a four-year low, 7.7 percent.

The city’s private sector usually swells by thousands of jobs in February, but last month added a total of just 700, said James P. Brown, principal economist for the State Labor Department. After adjustments for the usual seasonal gain, that increase will look like a substantial decline.

The statewide figures, which are already seasonally adjusted, showed a loss of 7,700 private-sector jobs last month. The February report was so weak that state officials chose to focus again on what happened in January, when the state’s private-sector tally reached a revised high of almost 7.42 million jobs.

The state’s unemployment rate remained at 8.4 percent in February. More than 800,000 state residents were unemployed, but fewer than half of them collected unemployment insurance payments.

Benefits for the long-term unemployed have been shrinking. Some state residents stand to collect a maximum of 63 weeks of payments, down from a high of 99 at the depths of the last recession.

New York City had led the state back from the recession, adding jobs at a significantly faster pace than that of the rest of the nation. But that trend has flipped: In the past 12 months, the number of private-sector jobs in the city has risen by 1.5 percent, compared with a national growth rate of 1.9 percent.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city officials have emphasized the job-growth numbers while dismissing the high unemployment rate as a flawed measure of the city’s health. They also have taken credit for making the city less dependent on Wall Street.

But the jobs that Wall Street is shedding pay much more, on average, than the jobs that are being added in health care, education and tourism-dependent businesses like hotels and restaurants.

Education and health services added about 5,900 jobs in February, while Wall Street lost about 1,300 jobs. A monthlong strike by school bus drivers contributed to a loss of about 6,600 jobs in the transportation and warehousing industries. One of the biggest increases last month came in the local government sector, which added 7,600 jobs, according to the Labor Department.

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