Pinot grigio is a kind of white wine. A very popular easy-drinking wine, often light, dry, and crisp.
Common abbreviation for Night Train Express, a cheap, sweet, high alcohol content, fortified wine made by E & J Gallo.
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.
A 1965 Impala appears in Inherent Vice.
a banking term. The average interest rate estimated by banks in London for borrowing from other banks.
Roman goddess of agriculture, fitting name for the Board of Trade (i.e. commodities) bar.
set of Jewish dietary laws.
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."
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.
Galicia is an autonomous community in northwest Spain, with the official status of a nationality. Galician Jews are a subdivision of the Ashkenazim geographically originating from Galicia, and from the south-eastern corner of Poland. As of 1920, 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.
Certain lobes of Heidi's spirit may have been compromised
You mean servers?
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.
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.
When Irish eyes are not smiling . . .
"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" is a song first published in 1912.