Richard Nixon and I share the love of politics, education, the NY Giants and most importantly, chinese food. After Nixon resigned from the presidency in 1974, he moved to Saddle River, NJ, about five miles from my hometown of Spring Valley, NY. Nixon kept a low profile, seldom seen around town (for the obvious reasons). However, he was a frequent customer at the New China Restaurant on Chestnut Ridge Road in Woodcliff Lake, NJ. My family used to eat at New China regularly and always wondered when we would run into Nixon (saw him at a NYG/DAL football game in ’88, but that is another story).
When you walked into New China, an autographed picture of Richard Nixon was prominently displayed by the cashier’ station. Everybody who went to the restaurant had to see the picture. Well one day, circa 1980, New China burned to the ground. We lost our Chinese restaurant! Terrible thing. Took six months to rebuild. But, after they rebuilt the restaurant, the food was better than ever, the table and chairs were new and right above the cashier’s station was a picture of Richard Nixon! This gave my brother Michael and I a good laugh or five. After all, it was great to see that the picture survived the fire. Living in NYC metro area, things like that just didn’t surprise us. Everytime we went to New China, we would just snicker. One time I was a bit obnoxious and asked the hostess about the picture. She quickly changed the subject. hmm,….
Circa 1999 – New China burned again! Awful, bloody awful. Nobody was hurt, but Nixon’s favorite Chinese restaurant was down for the count. But have no fear, the restaurant opened again one year later. Better food, new decour and Nixon’s picture back in its old familiar spot, on the wall, right by the cashier’s station!
You are all educated people. Draw your own conclusions!
Note – New China has recently changed hands and Nixon’s picture has disappeared from the restaurant.