Tom’s Diner

Tom’s Diner

The Upper West Side is home to quite a few celebrities – authors, artists and actors. In some cases, our buildings are the celebrities. The Ansonia held a major starring role in Single White Female and the Apthorp, Dakota and San Remo buildings are grand dames of architecture.

Thanks to the television series Seinfeld, Tom’s Restaurant is world reknown. Tom’s Restaurant is a diner located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at 2880 Broadway. Frequented by artists, musicians, comedians, students and faculty of nearby Columbia University, it has seen many stars and regular folk walk through it doors over the years, so its about time someone told its story. 

Filmmaker Gian Franco Morini is currently developing a feature length documentary about Tom’s Restaurant, highlighting past and present owners, clientèle and pop culture references, breaking the fictional facade and showcasing the real people behind this true NYC Landmark.

This week, outside of this project, Mr. Morini shot a different kind of footage at the diner; a meeting with Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Larry David. That’s a definite increase in wattage from the UWS’s regular star power!

Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander (aka George Costanza) were spotted this Monday walking into Tom’s Restaurant, the diner that was their main hang-out spot on Seinfeld. Larry David was spotted later walking out.

There is speculation of that they were shooting a Super Bowl video. Although it seems like a tight production timeline, since the event is just two weeks away, it presents yet another reason to watch February 2nd.

Gian Franco Morini

Somewhere Between – Film

Since the institution of China’s “one child” policy in 1979, some 80,000 Chinese girls have been adopted by American families. Prompted by her own adoption of a daughter, filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton probes these adoptees’ experiences through a portrait of four remarkable Chinese-American teenagers on a journey to discover their pasts, returning to China to find their birth parents.

On Monday August 27 Spence-Chapin Services and FCC will host a special screening of ‘Somewhere Between’ at: IFC Center
323 Ave. of Americas at W. 3rd St.
New York, 10014

Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Rita Taddonio, LCSW, director of the Spence-Chapin Adoption Resource Center (ARC), will lead an engaging Q&A about the film and the issues it unveils— race, gender and stereotypes.


For More Information and to part of this night, please contact: or
call 212-360-0275 or
order tickets online:

For the Benefit of All Beings

Last week I was invited to a screening of the documentary “For the Benefit of All Beings: The Extraordinary Life of His Eminence Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche“.
A quote from the promotional materials – “watching this film is the closest experience of Jesus Christ that I have ever had in my life.” – was intriguing enough to ensure my attendance.
I had nominal awareness of Garchen Rinpoche and certain no understanding of this man’s life experience. Before I saw the film, I Google the film title to get a better understanding of what I was about to experience. The documentary tells the story of a Tibetan lama who was recognized as a great reincarnation and enthroned at the age of seven. He went through extensive monastic training and was half-way through a traditional three-year retreat when the Communist Chinese Army invaded Tibet. Garchen Rinpoche took up arms against the Chinese, allowing the Dalai Lama to escape. He was subsequently imprisoned and tortured for 20 years during the prime of his life, age 22-42. Its like a Hollywood script, isn’t it?
What I learned from watching the film was far more profound and moving. In prison, Rinpoche met his root lama and practiced the Buddhist teachings in secret. Upon his release, he emerged a Realized Being – achieved through mindfulness meditation when the self is seen to be nonexistent, the human being is freed from narcissistic concerns — the source of suffering. In the following years, Garchen Rinpoche risked his life to help re-establish the Dharma in Tibet. Now, he teaches the path of transformation he relied upon in prison to audiences around the world. 

Even if buddhism is not your religion or a narrative of interest, you cannot help but be awed by Garchen Rinpoche’s story in the face of unthinkable adversity. He is the powerful embodiment of what can happen for any human being who unequivocally commits themselves to living For the Benefit of All Beings.
 And this film, directed, produced, filmed and edited by Christina Lundberg, is beyond a documentary. It is a love letter to Garchen Rinpoche’s followers, ensuring they and others understand how much benefit his legacy and blessings will bring to the world, long after he has passed away.


See it.

Learn more…. 
The theme song is White Tara Blessings, sung by Mercedes Bahleda.  

The screening was sponsored by Victoria and Michael Imperioli.