On the day that Osama Bin Laden died, Gentle Reader, I was at a cocktail party, at the home of my oldest friend, Mr. C.W.L. Darling. Wine and cocktails were flowing – this is where I learned about the lovely trick of floating whipped cream vodka on one’s mimosas – conversation was plentiful – I got to drop my favorite tidbit about drosophilia bifurca* three separate times – and generally, all was well. I was outside, on the steps, when I received a telephone call, announcing the very latest in news, and I must say that delivering the story was showstopping.
At any rate, the party was in full swing, and passed as these things so often do, with yellow cocktail music, and all that jazz. Time was when our host was off for bed, and his guests were left to disperse, into the night. It was the dead of summer, and stars shivered in glory across the dark velvet sky, even in the city. It was just one a.m.
My ride, Ms. Capere and her young man, L., had brought their convertible that night, and while we got lost out somewhere in SoDo, with the top down and the beautiful sky, and skyline, nobody really minded. When L. asked if we were peckish at all, Ms. Capere and I readily confessed that we were. Fortunately, there was a boxcar ahead.
As it turns out, the Orient Express is a Chinese joint that’s open all night long – or at least, it was open at nearly two. According to the plaque in front, some of the railway cars that make up the place were part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s personal presidential train. He used to sleep in one of the cars – which is now filled with silver and gold helium balloons, lying in readiness if he should ever show up, for some reason.
The reason is that it is reputedly a haunted bar.
I blame their (exceptionally good, and specially devised) Mai Tais. Also, their curry is quite good, as I found out.
Now, I may have told a fib, up in the title, but honestly I wouldn’t necessarily remember meeting the ghost of one of my favorite presidents -my memory isn’t the greatest. However, on leaving, I did manage to steal a balloon from the room lying in wait for his shade, and I still have it, more than a year later.
*The thing about Drosophila Bifurca (a type of fruit fly) is that, apparently, their spermatozoa is six times the size of their body? A single cell of it, I mean. Which is ridiculous, but true, according to my sources. Yeah. Just think about that, Gentle Reader.