Pinot grigio is a kind of white wine. A very popular easy-drinking wine, often light, dry, and crisp. An egregious pun here?
Common abbreviation for Night Train Express, a cheap, sweet, high alcohol content, fortified wine made by E & J Gallo.
Alcoholics Anonymous's rehab program is based on twelve steps
In Yiddish, to plotz literally means to crack, split, or burst. In slang it means "to collapse or be beside oneself with frustration, annoyance, or other strong emotion."
paraphrasing Jimi Hendrix
"mayonnaise! All in your brain" cf. "Purple haze! all in my brain"
Casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1926. Centered in the Midwest with headquarters in Iowa. Home of the "loose meat sandwich," which looks like a sloppy joe minus the tomato sauce.
pronounced "footsie", this is short for the FTSE 100 index, a proxy for the London Stock Exchange (comparable to the S&P 500 index, or the NASDAQ 100 index). So "playing FTSE" could mean either flirtatious activitites or playing the (London) stock market. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTSE_Group
Apparently Latin for a female arbitrator
Tight-fitting one-piece Chinese dress for females. Very common in films and television.
A 1965 Impala appears in Inherent Vice; "cherry condition" = "virgin condition"
The average interest rate at which a selection of banks in London are prepared to lend to one another for a term of three months. The three month LIBOR is also traded on futures exchanges, and would be one of a number of financial instruments of interest to someone speculating in interest rate movements (like Horst).
Roman goddess of agriculture, fitting name for the Board of Trade (i.e. commodities) bar.
Deloitte and Touche
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited commonly referred to as Deloitte, is one of the "Big Four" professional services firms along with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young, and KPMG. Deloitte is the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and by the number of professionals. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 200,000 professionals in over 150 countries.  In FY 2012–13, it earned a record $32.4 billion USD in revenues.
In 2012, it was reported that in the UK, Deloitte had the largest number of clients amongst FTSE 250 companies.
Its global headquarters are located in New York City, United States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deloitte
Computer fraud in which all interest income amounts less than half a cent are systematically credited to the perpetrator’s account. From .
set of Jewish dietary laws.
AKA "mashgiach" (Hebrew: משגיח, pl. משגיחים, mashgichim, lit. "Supervisor") is a Jew who supervises the kashrut status of a kosher establishment. A mashgiah may supervise any type of food service establishment, including slaughterhouses, food manufacturers, hotels, caterers, nursing homes, restaurants, butchers, groceries, or cooperatives. The mashgiach usually works as the on-site supervisor and inspector, representing the kashrut organization or a local rabbi, who actually makes the policy decisions for what is or is not acceptably kosher. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashgiach
A hechsher (Hebrew: הכשר [ˈheχʃeʁ] "kosher approval"; plural: hechsherim) is a Rabbinical Product certification, qualifying items (usually foods) that conform to the requirements of Halakha (Jewish law). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hechsher
Known as the "Mob's Accountant," was a major organized crime figure who, along with his associate Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was instrumental in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate" in the United States. For decades he was thought to be one of the most powerful individuals in the country. From WIKI.
"it's a truth universally acknowledged"
First sentence of Pride and Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
to try to persuade people to join a religion, cause, or group.
A person who complains extensively
describing Horst; alexithymia is a personality construct characterized by the sub-clinical inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. The core characteristics of alexithymia are marked dysfunction in emotional awareness, social attachment, and interpersonal relating.
least enjoyable maybe the one between Hochdeutsch and Ashkenazi
Hochdeutsch generally means the standard German language (as opposed to regional dialects). Ashkenazi Jews historically spoke Yiddish. This may refer to the class differences between speakers of different Yiddish dialects, classier German Jews vs peasant-y Polish Jews.
The Galicia referred to here is the eastern European area that today forms most of western Ukraine and was part of the Austrian Empire from the late eighteenth to early twentieth century. During that time, the Jewish population of Galicia swelled significantly. After the Great War, Galicia passed to Poland. The Polish government prohibited both Galician Jews and Ukrainians from working in the state enterprises, institutions, railway, post, telegraph etc. These measures were applied in their strictest form. Galician Jews and Ukrainians experienced ethnic oppression by undergoing a forceful Polonization. In September 1939, most of Galicia passed to Soviet Ukraine. The majority of Galician Jews perished during the Holocaust. Most survivors immigrated to Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia. Wikipedia
Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the Swiss Confederation. The allegory is typically pictured in a flowing gown, with a spear and a shield emblazoned with the Swiss flag, and commonly with braided hair, commonly with a wreath as a symbol of confederation. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest. From WIKI.
In the 1960s, some New Yorkers traveled south to obtain a "Mexican divorce". A Mexican divorce was easier, quicker, and less expensive than a divorce in most U.S. states. Celebrities who obtained a Mexican divorce include Johnny Carson, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Don Hewitt. It is also mentioned in the Jack Kerouac book On The Road. It was often referred to as a quickie (or quicky) divorce. From WIKI.
echt Latina... boricua
Echt = German (and Yiddish?) for "genuine, real". Boricua = Puerto Rican.
Gracy Kelly...Rear Window...Thelma Ritter...Wendell Corey.
All references to Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film "Rear Window." Oddly, the star of the film, James Stewart, doesn't get his name dropped. Thelma Ritter played Stewart's earthy, commonsensical nurse, a bit like the talkative Nurse from Romeo and Juliet. Wendell Corey played Stewart's skeptical policeman friend who helps save the day in the dramatic ending. You could say that Stewart, more than anyone else, is the one who 'saves' Grace Kelly from a murderer by calling the police at a crucial moment, and in general Kelly interacts more with Stewart than with Ritter or Corey, so I don't understand why Maxine is being identified more with them than with Stewart. Anyone have a better handle on this and can rewrite this entry?
Boris Kachka, writing for New York Magazine, writes that this building is "obviously the Apthorp". Although the Apthorp building does not have turrents and gargoyles from pictures available, its courtyard (photos here) closely matches Pynchon's description of the Deseret. Kachka writes that Pynchon himself lived in an apartment facing this building for years.
The etymology of the term "deseret" begins in the LDS scripture Book of Mormon, where the term is defined as honeybee, and used as an industrious symbol along with a beehive by Mormon leader Brigham Young.
carrying street Chanel bags
These could be Chanel bags designed for casual use. "Street" fashion is emerges not from studios, but from the grassroots, and is aimed at youth culture. OR Pynchon might be saying that those Chanel bags are knock-offs purchased on the street. It's ambiguous.
- It's the latter: a knockoff bag. Chanel bags start at a couple grand. From the context it's made clear that the characters can't afford them.
When Irish eyes are not smiling . . .
"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" is a song first published in 1912.
In New York they are called "sneakers" not "running shoes".