The iconic Stork Club in Manhattan was the NYC hotspot for an amazing run. Ex-bootlegger Sherman Billingsley ran the place continuously from 1929-1965. Made popular again by the hit television series The Mad Men, Billingsley mastered the subtle gestures indicating special treatment for the guests at the table where he would stop by to chat them up.
Pointing down, bring a round of drinks. Palm up, bring champagne. Touch the collar? No check for this table. Tugging at the pocket handkerchief meant bring perfume.
But avoid these signals: hand to nose, that meant "these are not important people." Interlocked hands: get them out of here quick. And the subtle wave meant tone down the band.
Vintage Hand Signals
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