I Am Happy To Have Been Served

Sunday, May 02, 2010 - 10:40 AM

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


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Comments [3]


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Jan. 23 2011 05:59 AM

Hi Sally --

There seem to be a bunch of places to buy the cups online. Here's one site:



May. 04 2010 12:32 PM
Sally Johnson

Nice blog. Where can a non-New Yorker get one of those?

May. 04 2010 11:57 AM

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