The late Leslie Buck (nee Laszlo Büch) had no training in graphics – he was in the cup business – but he had an eye for design, and he achieved something singular: an immortal disposable cup. The pseudo-Grecian lettering and ornament celebrated the venerable New York institution of the Greek diner before anyone had quite realized it was a venerable institution.
Now “We Are Happy to Serve You” is an icon of New York life – the example here is a ceramic recreation that lives on producer Michele Siegel’s desk.
Growing up in the city, it was simply a fact of life. My senior year of high school, I had an elective film class that started at 8am. Stopping at my preferred Greek diner (of the three on the block), I would get a cup of black Tetley in the requisite cup and walk it to class. It was a rite of passage. Carrying my Grecian cup, steaming and steeping to a bitter sludge that made me wince, I felt like a grownup -- and moreoever, a New Yorker.
- David Krasnow