Monday, November 06, 2006

The Little Things Count (Especially in New York)

Want random camaraderie among New Yorkers? After this weekend, I say either give them "Project Runway" or give them booze.

On Saturday afternoon I went out of the way-wrong exit of Macy's (after getting myself lost, which is pretty much par for the course where Macy's and I are concerned) only to find a window display of the winning runway collection by Jeffrey Sebelia of "Project Runway" on the building's south side. Now, realize this: Only the very, very hardcore PR fans are going to be caught dead gawking for long periods of time at a rack of miniature size-zero clothes in a window. That subset includes me. Within minutes, I was having the PR conversations of my life: "I wanted Uli to win," I said dejectedly to the streetwise girl to my left. She thought for a second and then turned to me excitedly. "Uli," she said, "stepped outside her box. [Streetwise girl mimed a box shape.] Michael...fell OFF!" [Streetwise girl made a "falling off" motion with her hands.]

I took a moment to leave a realtime voice mail for my only friend who would truly appreciate the full impact of PR in person. In that time, a thirtysomething woman and her gay friend came upon the display. "I thought he showed this with a skirt," gay guy said, gesturing toward a striped blazer. "No," thirtysomething woman said, "he was going to show this with shorts, but he switched it to pants at the last minute." "That's right," I said, joining in (naturally). The three of us admired Jeffrey's blue frocks and then examined the seams on his denim jacket. "There's no way he sewed them himself," gay guy said. "Definitely," thirtysomething woman said. "That's the work of the Asian woman who's making five cents an hour." I nodded in solidarity. "But this is all very Jean Paul Gaultier," gay guy said. Maybe. I still think the cherry print looks cheesy and busted. But that's just this Midwestern girl's opinion.

Friday night, I went out with Red, which is always a damn good time. Red somehow makes sure that everyone around us on our nights out together is included in our conversations-- in our night. I'll sit and blush and giggle, and she'll carry on like it's her job. (Which, as a talent agent, it kind of is.) At our favorite wine bar, we couldn't help but notice a buxom middle-age blonde in a suit who was laughing far too loud for nine in the evening. But we ignored her, as good New Yorkers are wont to do. Soon thereafter, her bar buddy climbed off of his bar stool and his scarf may or may not have touched our table. (Big deal.) "Excuse me," he said politely. "It's okay; you have a cute butt," Red said. (You see? You see how she does this?) Before we knew it, we were toasting all three of the friends at the bar, including the buxom blonde. I didn't have any wine left in my glass (um, naturally), so the blonde stopped the toast in midair. "No one drinks alone," she said as she pulled my empty wine glass out of my hand and filled it with half of the wine from her glass. "To women at dinner alone!" she announced. And I smiled, and I clinked, and I drank whatever kind of succulent, fabulous red she had given me.

And I closed my eyes for about a third of a second, and I remembered how much I love New York.


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