In honor of robust sales of my new book, I decided to splurge on a new espresso machine for the house. But now having fancy coffee, we needed something to serve it in. The night before Halloween, I was coming into town anyway for Henry and Dan’s party and to have dinner with Matt Kugelman. So I got there a little early and raced to the Crate and Barrel on 60th. But no! It closed at 8pm, not 9pm like I thought. The security guard assured me that the location on 14th street was still open, but I told him I had dinner plans and couldn’t possibly make it down there in time and I did come all the way from Westchester.
“Just this once.” He said as he let me, even though the store had closed moments earlier. A Manhattan miracle! $80 and five minutes later, I raced out of there with espresso cups and latte mugs galore, my joy in the city instantly reconfirmed. After dropping my packages in my car at the garage, I wandered down to meet Matt for a little Mexican food. We had a wonderful dinner and I tried to get him to come to the party but he had other people he needed to meet at Rockit at eleven. So since it was only ten, we split the baby and I joined him for a drink at Barrage to keep him company until his thing at 11pm. We parted and I hopped onto the subway uptown.
Henry and Dan threw an amazing New Year’s Eve party two years ago and I was anxious to attend another of their parties. At the time they had been living in an incredible building with views of the Hudson River but the invite for their Halloween Housewarming alerted me to the Central Park West location of their new digs.
I got off the subway and walked two blocks looking for the address. Along the way, I passed a castle with a large courtyard out front overlooking Central Park. “That can’t be it,” I thought to myself as I kept walking. “They can’t possibly live in a castle.” But of course they do. And the second floor ballroom in the turret? Not a day room for all the residents but instead, their elegantly appointed living room.
The party was insane. Filled with room after incredible room of hot hunks in hot costumes. The 1920s styling was intact throughout and the apartment wove its away around the entire floor of the building. I ran into Chris and Cub there, who like me, were not wearing costumes and I have never been so relieved to see two people in my life. In the elevator, I had ridden up with two guys who took one look at me and asked, “This is a costume party right?”
“Costumes were optional,” I told them, “Don’t worry. I didn’t dress up either."
They gave me a funny look. “I’m Rocky Balboa,” one of them said while the other donned sunglasses and assured me he was Donnie Brasco. Well, I wasn’t looking to make any new friends in the elevator anyway.
Also at the party, I ran into Ryan, who looked ready to be defiled in an ancient way in his toga while his friend Mike ran around dressed as a tight end, no doubt looking for someone to throw long and go deep with. Henry and Dan were busy hosting and having a fun time, although Henry kept herding people out of crowded nooks into less crowded ones after some real firemen showed up to inspect the size and density of the party crowd. “Into the library!” he called to me as Cub and I tried to leave the kitchen and return to Chris in the living room. I felt like a game piece on a Clue board.
The apartment made me feel bad about myself but in a laughable, nonsense way. My friends live in a castle! That’s ridiculous. No one lives in a castle. LA makes you feel like a failure all the time because nothing there is every good enough, young enough, shiny enough or new enough. But NYC is an impossible place filled with impossible things. On the news they said that the mayor was the richest man in New York City and I just thought, “How can that be? How can anyone be the richest anything here?” It’s all too much. The heights are so high in Manhattan that they are literally impossible to scale so no one has to feel bad that they didn’t make it. So while you can live in a castle, no one expects you to. Here in New York, you are a hero just for finding a decent one bedroom apartment for under $1500 a month. And there are small miracles inside latte mugs.