So-called civilized man, unswervingly self-righteous in the conviction that his way of life is superior to all others, has both wittingly and unwittingly visited tragedy upon the resident natives of the Americas for nearly five centuries. It amounts to genocide in the name of progress--and it's not over yet. Veteran explorer Lewis Cotlow, who has been conducting scientific expeditions to the Amazon since 1940, finds in Twilight of the Primitive that the tribesman's plight there is worsening--and makes some disturbing observations on what this may mean for more advanced cultures. In his article--which will appear in the book of the same name, to be published this month by Macmillan--Cotlow sees little hope for modern man, less for his tribal brothers. Science-fiction prophet Poul Anderson takes a more optimistic view in More Futures than One, which forecasts the evolution, after a time of troubles, of a world in which everyone can do his own thing--instead of someone else's.
Playboy, October, 1971, Volume 18, Number 10. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States, its possessions and Canada, $24 for three years, $18 for two years, $10 for one year. Elsewhere add $2 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Marketing: Victor Lownes, Director of Creative Development; Nelson Futch, Promotion Director; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 405 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Building; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
Now that it's football season again, we're reminded of a wonderful story from Columbus, Ohio. Last year, when "Beat Michigan" was the rallying cry at Ohio State University, someone ran off a batch of bumper stickers replacing the word Beat with Fuck. The Columbus Police Department said the stickers were obscene and that anyone caught driving around with one would be arrested. A young fellow named Thomas Harrington pasted one on his windshield and, about a month before the OSU-Michigan game, the cops charged him with violating the city's obscene-literature law. So Harrington hired a lawyer and went to court. It took until the end of February, but Judge James A. Pearson finally dismissed the case as absurd. "The city in its brief," wrote the judge, "states that there is no other word in the English language that is more obscene than the word 'Fuck.' "Describing the word as slang, he said if one followed the prosecution's reasoning, the sticker would be interpreted as meaning "to have sexual intercourse with the state of Michigan. This is also absurd." In summation, he said it would be impossible to say the bumper sticker appealed to prurient interests. "To the contrary," he wrote, "knowing the prevailing mood of the citizens of central Ohio prior to the [game], this court feels it expressed the derogatory nature of this mood toward the University of Michigan football team and the state of Michigan as a whole." And with a final flourish, he penned, "It is also the belief of this court that most of the citizens of central Ohio would feel that [the bumper sticker] had some redeeming social value."
The Chicago Opera House, a vaulted baroque cavern with ornate gilded balconies reaching up like cyclopean steps, is not the likeliest place to hear rock 'n' roll. But a concert featuring The Stooges and Alice Cooper was scheduled there recently, so we went--partly to hear their music, partly to see if they lived up (or down) to their images. The Stooges, we had read, were led by Iggy Stooge, a singer with a habit of wearing black leather and lacerating his flesh while performing. Alice Cooper, on the other hand, we knew to be a ladylike group of guys whom even Frank Zappa once called "very strange" and who are currently mincing toward rock's Queen of the Hop Award. Together, we thought, they should make for an unforgettable evening of pervo-rock.
In his latest novel, The Tenants (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Bernard Malamud goes out on a literary limb and attempts to saw himself off. He doesn't succeed. He is too searching and original a writer to fail even when he handicaps his work with suicidal odds. In the first place, this is a novel about novelists--practically autodestruct material in the publishing field. In the second place, he probes black-white issues at their rawest points, daring a full-length portrait of a black-militant, anti-Semitic writer, with added exacerbations of sexual and creative competition. There are two protagonists: Harry Lesser, white novelist; William Spearmint (Bill Spear), black would-be novelist. They occupy two flats in a vacated Manhattan apartment house, whose landlord knows only of Lesser's presence. He begs and offers bribes to Lesser to be gone, so that demolition can begin. For apartment house, read the city, the country, the world. Everything is at the point of demolition. The only thing that will save the house of the world is the love of the inhabitants for one another. That's what Lesser's decade-long work is about: love. Bill Spear's agonized pages are about hate, a hate that stands in the way of his being an artist. In a transport of rage because Lesser has taken away his white "bitch," Bill Spear reduces ten years of Lesser's work to ashes. His rage destroys his own work, too. Bill would like to pretend that that's all right, since he is committed to destruction, but finally he returns to that vacated halfway house: He cannot burn out of himself his desire to create. Bill Spear remains more a projection of a white man's fear than the symbol of a black man's torment. Yet in The Tenants. Malamud has fashioned a starkly compelling symbol to define our terrible times.
Autopub, which cost a gear-stripping $1,000,000 and covers 17,000 square feet of floor space off the sunken plaza of the new General Motors Building (where else?) at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in Manhattan, is a symposium of six separate restaurant areas and one huge bar, all designed and decorated ad majorem Detroit gloriam. The lights above the Pit Stop bar are built into real crash helmets; the seats at the tables in the bar are sports-car buckets (no safety belts); above the bar hang a 1911 Model T Ford Torpedo Roadster, a 1929 Brook-lands Riley and a 550 Halibrand Shrike; the bar attendants wear pit coveralls with Getty Oil Company patches. The only thing Autopub hasn't done, it would seem, is hire Andy Granatelli as the maître de. Boutiques run interference in the halls between the various restaurant areas, and auto decor follows you around mercilessly. Road signs show the way to the dining areas and boutiques--as well as the johns. Racing flags and door handles shaped like steering wheels compete for your attention. The Sandwich Shop has wall coverings done in a tire-tread design. The Grand Stand is a large dining area styled after the stands at Le Mans. Lover's Lane, located behind an incredible art nouveau door with a heart motif, is a single row of car seats parked amid mock make-out vegetation. The star attraction of Autopub is the Drive-In Movie, where you sit on car seats and perhaps munch a huge Autopub hamburger while watching Charlie Chaplin flicks or Road Runner cartoons. The Eldorado Grill is a line of little dining rooms, chambres séparées, with limousine-type tufted-leather ceilings and enfolding doors. Autopub food is wholesome and uncomplicated. Steak is broiled with the bone in, for greater flavor. Shrimps stuffed with crab meat are a specialty. Salads come with a delicious herb dressing, if you're tired of French and bleu cheese. Every table is graced with a loaf of sesame-seed bread. Desserts, too, are a simple affair. The famous Miss Grimble, purveyor of pecan pie and cheesecake to some of Manhattan's top restaurants, is responsible for the sweetmeats. Prices of all entrees and extras are moderate. (The Pub Lunch includes a very dry martini, beefsteak slices or a hamburger, French fried potatoes and coffee--all for $3.95.) Autopub's hours are noon to one A.M. daily. Reservations are not necessary.
The cinematic blood bath has been shaping up as national sport since Bonnie and Clyde set the tone of American-style violence by pumping slugs into people's faces--but the current vogue for sanguinary shockers dates back to 1957 or thereabouts, when England's Hammer Films launched its gory The Curse of Frankenstein, paving the way for an even gorier The Horror of Dracula, a spin-off Count Yorga, a flood of brutal Italian Westerns and such pretentious excuses for mayhem as Soldier Blue, the Sporting Club and The Hunting Party.
Both Time and Rolling Stone agree that James Taylor has captured the mood of the Seventies, so it's obviously true. And should you be wondering what your mood is right now, Taylor's latest album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon (Warner Bros.), will inform you that you're mainly sad and tired. James seems to be, anyway. Musically, he hasn't moved very far on down the road from Sweet Baby James; and since he dips into the same well of rhythms and melodies for all his songs, Mud Slide Slim sometimes seems like a compound case of aural déjà vu. And except for a lively version of Danny Kootch's Machine Gun Kelly, melancholy clouds hang over the whole LP, turning even Carole King's reassuring You've Got a Friend into a lament of sorts. But the superstar trip is a fast train to jump, and you've got to hang on hard for a while, so maybe Taylor has a right to be slightly beat and bummed out. As he says in Hey, Mister, That's Me up on the Jukebox, "Can't you see that I'm dry as a bone.... I've been spreading myself thin these days."
The most exciting theater in Manhattan is located at 425 Lafayette Street, home of the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater. The Public theater, an invention of free-Shakespeare impresario Joseph Papp, is a rambling theatrical complex housed in the historic former Astor Library. Inside and out, the building is an architectural gem. Papp saved the site from destruction and maintains it modestly with city support. With all his financial problems, Papp keeps prices low--and attracts a lively young audience, very much in tune with the adventurous works he stages.
I had a date with a girl and came to like her very much. We ended up in my room embracing--a kind of mutual thing, until I went too far--but not all the way, because my roommate interrupted us. She ran off before I had a chance to talk to her. I apologized to her the next day and she nodded mechanically and said she understood, but I could tell she didn't really. Now she avoids me and I'm beginning to hate myself. I followed my instincts as a male but failed as a human being. She was homesick and came to me needing consoling and I tried to screw her. What can I say that won't sound phony and will help her to understand? -- T.C., Cleveland, Ohio.
"So y'all goin' to write a story on Evers?" asked the lady. "My, my, that nigra sure is comin' up in the world. "Her smile was sweet, but it didn't reach the eyes. Her husband, a stout white-haired man in a rumpled seersucker suit with an American-flag pin on the lapel, frowned. "We never had any trouble with our niggers before all this." The conversation could have been overheard anywhere in white Mississippi, but the fact that it took place in Fayette gave it a special relevance. For the target of their criticism, Charles Evers, is not only a black man but their own mayor, the political leader of a town in which black voters outnumber whites more than two to one, and for the first time since Reconstruction, a white minority was confronting dominant black political power.
Dick Butkus slowly unraveled his mass from the confines of a white Toronado and walked into the Golden Ox Restaurant on Chicago's North Side. He is built large and hard, big enough to make John Wayne look like his loyal sidekick. When he walks, he leads with his shoulders, and the slight forward hunch gives him an aura of barely restrained power. He always seems to be ready.
Although she was typing from her shorthand notes, the middle-aged secretary kept sneaking glances at Sam Miller across the outer office. he was waiting to see her boss, Mr. Collins, who was the owner and manager of the casino in the Starlight Hotel. This is a relatively old establishment, not far out of town on the Las Vegas Strip.
As readers of our fashion pages already know, men's suit styles move in cyclical patterns; a year or two of frenetic changes is usually followed by a period of relative calm, once a fresh norm has been established. It's playboy's prediction that suits today have reached such a plateau and will most likely continue on an even keel for at least several seasons--and possibly longer. We foresee that the predominant style for this fall and winter will be a continuation of the already popular wide-lapelled and slightly flared-leg two-button model, interpreted in new colors and fabrics--including single and double knits, wools, worsteds, synthetics, corduroys and velvets. Expect overcoats to be somewhat less flamboyant than they've been in seasons past, the costume look having been transformed into a tasteful assortment of single- and double-breasted coats (many of them belted) that extend to mid-calf. But if you're concerned that well-dressed males this fall will look as though they've all been pressed from the same cookie cutter--not to worry; you'll find plenty of ways to express your individuality in the shirt section of most men's boutiques and haberdasheries. There you can choose from geometrics, floral and motif prints (such as an allover bird pattern), earth-tone plaids and printed knits, most with long-pointed collars. And in case you haven't heard, the white dress shirt has been elegantly resurrected, notably in white-on-white stripes. Ties, incidentally, are holding steady at four and a half to five inches in width. In casualwear, look for jean suits, shirt suits, coat suits (warm coats with matching trousers) and plenty of leisure leathers--suedes, buffed pigskins, cabrettas and even buckskins that resemble blue denim cut into a variety of tops (many with coordinating slacks). Whatever you choose, be assured that there are more than enough fashion ways to express what you think through what you wear.
You know the traditional picture of the defender of the American way of life--he's a tall, whip-thin, taciturn type in buckskin who looks a little like the young Jimmy Stewart, with a Bible in his breast pocket and a fowling piece cradled in his arm. Not a bad image in its day, and we all loved him. But if the American way of life still means personal liberty and freedom for the individual regardless of color, creed or national origin, our first line of defense is now manned by a curious amalgam of Jewish lawyers, Quakers, pacifists, a clutch of what Spiro Agnew calls "radiclibs," some angry black men and an occasional romantic conservative. This is almost certainly an unfair description of the membership of the American Civil Liberties Union--no group this side of Santa's little helpers can be capsuled into so few categories--but it touches most of the bases. And the A.C.L.U. certainly does qualify for the role of the nation's chief (continued on page 122)A.C.L.U. (continued from page 119) defender of personal liberty.
One afternoon in the early Sixties, according to legend, a guitarist named Harrison from a little-known Liverpudlian rock group dove into a swimming pool and, upon emerging, decided to let his longish locks dry without slicking them back in the, at that time, de rigueur street-tough pompadour. Since then--whether George was responsible for it or not--longer hair, naturally worn and styled, has gradually found its way into all strata of (concluded on page 194) Top Kicks (continued from page 121) our society. But this isn't to say that coming on wild has replaced being well groomed. Longer hair, in fact, calls for additional care, as evidenced by the dozens of new masculine grooming aids--from electric combs to protein spray-ons--now on the market.
For more than a year, after a brief stay at the University of Arizona in 1969, Claire Rambeau was into a Los Angeles modeling career. During that time, she often left the city for a few days and drove to her father's north-central-Arizona home in Sedona, where she spent many hours exploring--either on foot or on horseback--the vast, craggy Red Rock country in search of seclusion as well as scenery. Although enjoying some professional success, 20-year-old Claire was becoming increasingly disenchanted with her working environment. "I became more and more dependent on my Arizona trips as a means of clearing my head in order to face the coming week." Finally, last spring, she left Los Angeles for good. "I was really fed up. So many people I met in the business could talk about nothing but their multimillion-dollar deals that were being finalized. Then, when I'd run into them again a month later, they'd be talking about the same deal and it was still imminent." She decided to use what money she'd saved to travel and flew to the one place in the world she most wanted to see: London. "My former roommate in L. A. is a stewardess who's been all over the world. She continually talked about London, so I just had to go." Claire wasn't disappointed. "I fell in love with it. There's a kind of formal air about the city. I don't mean that people are stuffy--they're conscious of tradition in a way I found charming." But Claire enjoyed the open air of the countryside outside London almost as much. Off by herself, she spent long introspective afternoons thinking about her future. Shortly, everything began to fall into place. "I decided that I wanted to live in London, and since I'd always had a great interest in fashions, I visited some commercial-art schools to ask about their fashion-design courses. I haven't made up my mind which school I'll attend, but I'm definitely going to enroll." After reaching this decision, Claire reassessed her past career. "I no longer think with regret of the year I spent modeling," she says. "After all, it did increase my awareness of good design." Early last summer, she left London and returned to Arizona so she could prepare for the move this fall. "I'm looking over design books and fashion magazines right now." Whatever school Claire attends, it seems only fitting and proper that London--having lost its famous bridge to Arizona--should get such a delightful attraction in return.
Let us suppose that a favorite fantasy of science-fiction writers came to pass: Beings with an advanced technology invade the earth and impose upon man an alien and entirely incomprehensible way of life, relegating the erstwhile "Lords of Creation" to the ignominious roles of servants, slaves or, at best, museum curiosities. How might human beings be expected to react? Some, of course, would try to learn about the invaders' superior techniques (assuming they were given the opportunity). Some, no doubt, would be horrified at the prospect of becoming second-class beings in a world in which they had once been supreme. They would seek places to hide or would even wage a tragic, losing struggle to affirm their sense of "human dignity." We would all yearn to survive, but only as men and only as we have learned to define our humanness. We like to think that perishing in behalf of a way of life is nobly tragic: Defeat at the hands of a superior force brings out human capacities of which most peoples on this earth have been traditionally proud. Yet, in our Western regard for the winner, and in our belief that God is on our side, we often forget that in this hemisphere people whom the earliest explorers mistakenly dubbed Indians have endured a five-century encounter with an alien civilization not unlike the fanciful invasion described above. By the time white Europeans began arriving in the New World during the 15th and 16th centuries, the first Americans had produced such a variety of cultural styles, levels of technical achievement and political sophistication that it is difficult to generalize about them in comparison with the "more advanced" Europeans. The Indian tribes of the Americas did share some obvious deficiencies: They lacked gunpowder, horses and artillery. And they were unarmed in quite another sense: They could not understand--nor could they have ever anticipated--the unquenchable thirst for land and resources that would possess the invaders. They were totally unprepared for the righteous cruelties that the Spanish, French, Dutch, English and Portuguese would inflict upon them in the name of civilization.
Reliable Polls designed to investigate the viewing habits of the television-watching public have produced conclusive evidence that every major TV show has its unique and specific audience. Moreover, the average viewer of a given program reflects, to a large extent, the values of that program. The polls have shown, for example, that most of the viewers of the lately departed Hee Haw were located in rural areas and that in New York City, the show often failed to attract even ten percent of the people watching television during its time slot. Consequently, if you are the regular viewer of a program to whose audience you do not properly belong--if you are, say, a distinguished philosophy professor at Columbia who can't start your day without watching Captain Kangaroo--then you are helping to louse up the reliability of the polls. To prevent this, we offer the following convenient guide, which illustrates just who and what (continued on page 230)a snob's guide to tv(continued from page 137) you should be in order to watch the following programs.
The House Lights were just coming up after the screening of a Walt Disney movie in a Los Angeles theater, and Susannah Fields, a 19-year-old bride whose hobbies include sewing and baking bread, picked up her purse and started to leave. Suddenly she was accosted by a shout from the balcony: "Say," called the male voice, "weren't you the girl in Sexual Freedom in Denmark?"
"Who could presume to put a monetary value on a human life?" We've all heard that somewhere. It's a nice pious thought and maybe it was appropriate once. But in today's consumer economy, there's a price on everything, even on human life. The only problem is collecting:
We're Not about to insist that cocktail soups will make your reputation as an accomplished chef or collector of beautiful women. But what they can do, certainly, is add a dollop of intrigue to an ofttime pedestrian first course and get your brunch, lunch or dinner started on a raffish note--which is not a bad return on something really quite simple. Before going further, let's make one thing perfectly clear--as The Man says. Cocktail soups have nothing in common with such effete conceits as the suggestion of claret in the consommé nor the glimmer of sherry in the lobster bisque. They're racy, ribald mugs or bowls of soup, generously splashed with liquor. The smack of the spirit and its assertive (continued on page 204) Souped-Up Soups (continued from page 155) flavor and aroma become an integral part of the dish.
Our music poll has changed with the shifting music scene. Nothing that the once-disparate areas of music were rapidly merging, Playboy four years ago broadened the base of its poll to include the newly evolving musical forms. The Playboy Jazz Poll became the Playboy Jazz & Pop Poll. Last year, the balloting structure was changed to facilitate handling. Readers no longer have to check the names of their choices on the ballot but may simply fill in the blanks on the foldout ballot that follows the listings. The only thing predictable about this year's poll, in the light of the volatility of the current music scene, is that it undoubtedly will be the most interesting and the biggest ever.
The old wife she sent to the miller her daughterTo grind her grist quickly, and so return back:The miller so worked it that in eight months afterHer belly was filled as full as her sack.Young Robin so pleased her that when she came homeShe gaped like a stuck pig and stared like a mome,She hoydened, she scampered, she hallowed and whooped,And all the day long, this, this was her song:Hoy! Was ever maiden so lericompooped?
The Managing Director summoned Warner to his office one day just after lunch. Warner stood with his head bowed, looking at the slight indentations made by the edges of his feet in the soft carpet. "We have a problem here," the managing director said. "I'd like you to take a look at it and come up with a solution by five o'clock. Give it to the submanager. That's all." Warner took the sheet of paper that the managing director held out to him, mumbled something and began to turn away. As he turned, he glanced at the paper and saw that it was completely blank. He stopped and tried to say something, but the managing director waved his hand at him in that brusque manner that indicated that for him there was nothing more to be said, and Warner quietly left the room.
Society has become "sclerotic, asphyxiated, poisoned by wastes, troubled by inner strife, unfit to live." The rantings of a street-corner fundamentalist? No, though apocalyptic prophecies are not uncommon to Paolo Soleri, founder of a new architectural movement. A student of Frank Lloyd Wright, a bellmaker, teacher and poet, Turin-born Soleri, 52, is at work on a comprehensive projection for the future of urban man at Cosanti, a desert atelier near Phoenix. He calls his master plan arcology, a cybernetic marriage of architecture and ecology seeking to metamorphose our sprawling cities into single mile-high megastructures that would house, employ, entertain and sustain up to 2,000,000 inhabitants in an area the size of Manhattan Island. With an almost puritanical aversion to waste, Soleri's philosophy comprises both an indictment of and an alternative to megalopolitan fallout; the destructiveness and pollution of the automobile--and the land and labor that are pressed into its service--are Soleri's special targets. With an urban system concentrated around man, he says, the car and the "asphalt nightmare" it creates would be obsolete. In his seminal book Arcology: The City in the Image of Man, Soleri presents his vision as "an 'environmental toy' offering unending elements for surprise and stimulation," a "Euclidean universe" wherein any point in the superstructure is a maximum of 15 minutes from the 1,000,000 people housed on its skin. Soleri's exhortation is to arcologize the most improbable places: His Infrababel is designed to fill abandoned quarries; Veladiga hollows out a dam; Novanoah is seagoing; Arcube and Hexahedron will adorn the prairie with sculptural skylines; and Stonebow will arch over rivers or canyons. All are designed to enhance not merely our chances for survival but the quality of life for healthy men on a healthy planet. W. H. Auden once wrote, "Let us honor if we can/the vertical man/Though we value none/but the horizontal one." Obviously, Paolo Soleri concurs.
Virtually no one had heard of the young lawyer from San Mateo County, California, until he torpedoed the Good Ship Lollipop in a 1967 Congressional election. Since outpolling Shirley Temple Black, Representative Paul ("Pete") McCloskey has weathered almost four years on Capital Hill and is now emerging as the Republican rebel who hopes "to embarrass the President into ending the war" or even to help "dump Nixon" next year in a G.O.P. replay of Eugene McCarthy's 1968 "dump Johnson" drive. A 43-year-old father of four, and one of the most qualified environmental experts in the House, McCloskey is a Navy veteran who served with the Marines during the Korean War and won the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts and the Navy Cross--his Service's highest award--in combat as a second lieutenant. In fact, it's on his experience as a military tactician and on his knowledge of the Constitution (he's written a textbook on the subject) that he bases his argument against Nixon's prolongation of the war. Earlier in his efforts to curb the President's warmaking powers, he sponsored several dovish amendments, notably the repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and an unsuccessful cutoff of Vietnamwar funding. And he called for a national dialog on Nixon's impeachment on constitutional grounds. Now McCloskey sees the primaries as the only way left to influence the President's policies. But the White House and many members of his party are ignoring him for the moment. "I haven't heard of him," Kansas Senator and G.O.P. National Committee Chairman Robert Dole cracked. "How do you spell that last name--McWhat?" Maverick McCloskey, unflapped by his party's disapprobation, is marshaling forces for the New Hampshire, California and other state primaries. "This President has carved out three issues for me or anyone who runs against him--the war, race and real honesty in Government," says McCloskey. "It'll be a pleasure to challenge him on those grounds."
If we ever see the last of those neon-lit plastic-food franchises, a lion's share of the credit should go to David Sidell, the 31-year-old bachelor president of the Bratskellar restaurants. Eight years ago, fresh out of the University of Illinois with a degree in business administration, Chicagoan Sidell noted a dearth of attractive dining spots where one could eat inexpensively, unpretentiously--but well. So he decided to start one of his own with simple, hearty, moderately priced fare such as Bratwurst and kraut, chili, steak, shrimps boiled in beer and hamburger cloaked in rarebit, plus good wines and spirits served in the masculine atmosphere of a Heidelberg Bierstube. With the help of two friends and a pooled sum of $9000, Sidell opened his first Bratskellar in Chicago's Old Town. His horizons soon expanded to Denver and then farther west to California, where Bratskellars now flourish in San Francisco, La Jolla, Orange, Marina del Rey, Westwood, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. In dramatic contrast to most of the short-order eateries that proliferate from coast to coast, each Bratskellar is handsomely accoutered with carved oak chairs, medieval coats of arms, authentic Gothic sconces, massive chandeliers and vaulted ceilings. In fact, the distinctive decor of the Bratskellars has been so admired, Sidell says, that "we've decided to go into interior planning as a phase of the business and have formed a subsidiary, Creative Design & Import, Ltd." Even more than his flair for good food and Old World settings, however, it's Sidell's talent for researching new sites, negotiating leases and arranging finances that has spurred the restaurant venture's phenomenal growth. Though his business has boomed into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, the young entrepreneur, who now lives in Brentwood, California, and breeds Arabian horses as a hobby, still remains relatively unimpressed with wealth. What's more, despite his affluence, Sidell pays his Bratskellars the ultimate compliment: They're his favorite restaurants.