Where Did Seinfeld Get That Car in 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee'?
Plus, Fred Wilson’s art and ogling eagles in Peekskill.
Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin had eggs at the Pleasantville Diner in a car just like this one
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Mr.choppers
Wild & Crazy Guys
Q: I know Jerry Seinfeld has made several visits to the county for his Web-based show. I’m particularly interested in the episode in Pleasantville, with Steve Martin. I really want to know about the car from that episode. They said it was one of only nine made. Is it Seinfeld’s?
—McKenna Burgess, Pound Ridge
A: The episode you are referring to in Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was the second one in the seventh season, released in January 2016 and following his episode with then-President Barack Obama. Most reviewers panned the Martin episode as being long on time and short on laughs. The Pleasantville Diner did its job, serving the Wild and Crazy Guy an egg salad sandwich and the Master of His Domain a mozzarella omelet.
The car you are referring to was the real star. It was a 1954 Siata 200 CS. It was indeed one of only 11 produced by the company, which mostly sold performance parts for Fiat. In 1948 they began to produce small numbers of high-performance vehicles, like the 200 CS, with its V-8 engine and aluminum frame and body, making it exceptionally light and fast.
The car is owned by Julius Eisenstark of Yorktown Heights, who inherited it from his dad, Walter, a car enthusiast. A dentist, Walter found the car, oddly enough, in a Queens used-car lot in 1959. The family has done extensive renovations on it, and it regularly gets displayed at car shows throughout the US.
For all of its great sight lines, Siatas weren’t famous for their workmanship. In the episode, the turn-signal switch breaks off in Seinfeld’s hand and the roadster konks out on the comedians’ way home.
Musings on Museology
Q: I was visiting friends in Cleveland, and we went to an art exhibit of the work of Fred Wilson. In his bio, it mentioned that he lived in Westchester when he was very young and suffering racism. What can you tell me about that?
—Jordan Diehl, Tuckahoe
Artist and former Yonkers resident Fred Wilson used the medium of museology to share his views about racism and social justice
Photo by Kerri Ryan McFate
A: Fred Wilson is a 63-year-old artist whose work emphasizes social justice through the medium of museology. Museology is the practice of organizing, arranging, and managing museums, often to produce one consistent theme or message. Wilson uses existing artwork, often found deep in the storage areas of museum holdings, to fashion his message.
That message often addresses racism and, more specifically, racism in art. He describes himself as having African, Native American, European, and American roots and that he was born in the Bronx. His family moved to a mostly white section of Yonkers, where he said racist graffiti greeted the family before they even got a chance to move in.
Wilson told New York magazine that he had very few friends during that time in Yonkers and that his experience led him to retreat into his art. He attended SUNY Purchase, where he was the only African American in the art program.
Today he lives in the East Village, with his partner, Whitfield Lovell. His most current exhibit closed in June at the Oberlin College Allen Memorial Art Museum.
Peekskill is a prime spot to spy bald eagles.
Q: I was told that Peekskill is one of the best places in the state, or maybe the country, to see bald eagles. Where should I go?
—Mark Rosenblatt, Hartsdale
A: This is really something we should all be excited about. For all the bad things we do to the environment, we can be proud of the fact that bald eagles are back and flourishing in New York State. As of 1976, there were only two of the majestic creatures left in the state.
Winter is the best time to see eagles, which nest in heavily wooded areas by bodies of water. They are most active between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Department of Environmental Conservation recommends not only Riverfront Park and Charles Point/China Pier in Peekskill but also Iona Island State Park, near West Point.
When you go, be patient, quiet, and bring binoculars.