Sunday, October 22, 2006

Left outside

"I should be in there at the General Assembly," the well-dressed Latin woman bubbled as she stood against the barricade, waiting for President Bush's motorcade to traverse the closed off 42nd Street on his way from the UN.

"I was there last March. My husband tried to get me in this time, but the security is too tight."

She was a complete look- and sound-alike for the character in that movie where the New York cop won the lottery and insisted on sharing his winnings with a waitress who'd given him a coffee when he had no money with him. The wife character, Latin too, and insisting on her right to live the high life.

But that's unfair. Our barrier companion already does. Her husband is in the diplomatic business, and for the last eighteen years they have lived in various parts of Europe. Currently in Rome, but formerly in postings like Switzerland, it seems.

"All the hotels are booked, and expensive, and we're stuck in this one." She jabbed a finger down the street. The New York Helmsley. 'Stuck' might not be my description. But it all depends what you're used to, I suppose.

Besides, I've found that they've closed the Plaza up at the south end of Central Park. As famous for being a movie location as its legendary customer service, it seems that it just became too valuable as a property and was sold. The new owners are building very expensive residences behind the famous facade.

I'm told there will also be a hotel there when the job is finished. But it can't be the same, can it?

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