I don’t know about you, but I’m getting weary of singing the “down in the economic dumps” blues.
Somewhere, I reckoned, there must be people spending money as if they print it in their basement every night.
Somewhere, somehow, there are people who don’t care about $1,200 room rates. Indeed, they’ll pay $16 for a martini and call it a ”happy hour” price.
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And I just wanted to look at them. Press my face against the “money glass” that separates us and see them at play. Not out of envy. Out of a sense of wonder.
Who are these folks dancing on the tabletop of life
while the rest of the world struggles for the crumbs that fall to the floor?
Well, I got to watch some of them last week. As suspected, they are not like you and me.
I was at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, a five-star location discreetly tucked off Wilshire Boulevard. The occasion was the Silverado Silver Soiree, a reception for staff and clients of the new Silverado Senior Living Community about to open in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Silverado, for the uninitiated, operates high-end care homes for clients with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
To make the day memorable, a Silverado staff member even created a Silverado martini that so impressed the Peninsula Hotel culinary experts it has been added to their cocktail menu. The $16 collation includes Ketel One Vodka, champagne, Chambord and lemon juice. It’s just sweet enough, just tart enough to be dangerous. I tried one and one only.
We had cocktailed and hors-de-oeuvred in a pleasant reception room. A violinist and cellist played. On the patio, chefs created gnocchi or bananas foster to order. A most obsequious waiter passed tuna tartar and smoked salmon bites.
This was pleasant but not overwhelming. I mean, a couple of weeks ago I was at a high tea at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif. While we had clotted cream instead of gnocchi, the afternoon libations were of the same quality.
Ah, but the crowd in the lobby bar! What a difference.
The women teetered in and out in gladiator shoes with 6-inch heels. The men were undecided: some in suits of the finest cloth and others in jeans of the most outrageous design. One gentleman – well, what else can I call him? – wore a colorful sash that “bunched” in the front in a most suggestive manner.
But the lobby was just a warm-up. We sat out front for a while, deliberately delaying calling for our car.
I think it’s amazing that women with six-figure incomes have such stunning breasts they don’t need to wear bras! Instead, they peek out of designer cocktail wear in a most enticing way.
Of course, there was the lady – I could tell she was a lady because she wore a sweater set – walking her poodle. The well-groomed doggie waited until it got beyond the hotel entrance bushes to do its duty.
There were Rolls Royces and enough Mercedes to make you yawn. People chattered about shopping and bank deposits, insurance and investments.
One mother covered her son’s ears. “Jimmy doesn’t want to hear this!” she said to her husband, who was discussing business with a friend. Jimmy looked about 10. He also looked bored.
This was not the typical California celebrity land. Instead of paparazzi, a small army of guest attendants were lined at the doorway.
These are the rich. They don’t live like you and me. Which is just fine. I can live without the velvet, marble, original oil painting atmosphere. I can even endure life without a full-time attendant.
But I wouldn’t mind the recipe to the Silverado martini. Just for special occasions, of course.