The Astors were one of early America’s most prominent families. Fred Astaire, on the other hand, was one of America’s most prominent dancers. But, uh, that’s entirely irrelevant to what I was just saying.
It started with John Jacob Astor… heimer Smith. Not actually that last part, but I bet you sang it in your head. No, John Jacob Astor and his brother, George, were prominent flute makers. How about that? A prominent family that got its start in woodwinds. They came to New York by way of Baltimore and became merchants of rugs and real estate as well. They then established the country’s first Pacific trading post. They also got everything named after themselves. Astoria, Astor Place, Astor Court, Astor Avenue, and, from Austin Powers’ Goldmember, Fat B-Astor-d.
The Astor brothers were some cool guys. I hear George once kicked Benny Goodman’s ass in a clarinet battle. The only thing that could have made them cooler would have been a slick Gramercy bag over their shoulders. To clarify, the bag cannot fit a baritone sax in it, but it can fit sheet music and, like, a computer and stuff. Get a Queens neighborhood named after you. Get an Astor bag.