The Naked City; Old Dogs, New Tricks

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A magnolia bud ready to bloom in Central Park. Photo: JH.

Thursday, April 6, 2023. It’s that time in the changing seasons where it’s warmer than the city’s official temperature for heat (55 degrees) so it’s cold. In the house/apartment. If it’s not sunny outside, and without the “heat”, it’s dark. And colder. Yesterday it was touching the mid-60s midday, but still the chill. Tomorrow, they’re forecasting 79 degrees! We’ll see.

The next few days are for many religiously oriented. At least in paying lip service. I’m not implying that, just realistic. Because our behavior, and how we conduct ourselves with others — as well as family members — are important aspects in living safely and comfortably. This sounds like an ideal but it’s actually reality.

These are the challenges that all creatures face. Among my private diaries, which are simple statements of facts/appointments and reminders, are occasionally a story to remember, rather a portrait, particularly involved with women and their story.

For the security of all, it’s a blind item. This is New York.

She is in her late thirties, maybe early forties. Exotic to the Western eye. Slender, “skinny,” one woman called her, adding that she “wears practically nothing.” Nothing? “A top, a skirt, nothing but that and her fabulous skinny body.”

She was married. To a much older man. Much. Thirty, forty years; a successful businessman (not fabulously but comfortably). He was girl-crazy. Always dated much younger girls. Married a few of them too. She finally left him.

A friend of mine, male, much younger than she, happened to live in the same building where she lived with her husband. One night, leaving the building at the same time, he offered her a lift in his cab headed downtown. He was meeting friends at a club. She asked if she could come along. Okay.

She joined right in. The two were on the dance floor and soon things were heating up. She was lighting the fires. My friend, a bit of a square, (still a kid), knowing his “older” neighbor was married and living in the same building as he, nervously extracted himself, although forever amused thereafter by the neighborly encounter.

Last summer someone noticed her at a big dinner party in East Hampton. Seated next to a popular member of the set out there. An older man — although not much: maybe twenty years — good shape; married, but a Casanova. Not that this is a secret to those who know him. And/or his wife — a very pretty woman; very cultured, very intelligent — who knows about her husband’s ways. Some say. Although one never knows how much the mate knows about the other mate, right? Nevertheless, these two have been married for years now. Very popular on the social circuit, well-liked, great hosts, lots of friends.

So at this dinner party in East Hampton, the two — the exotic younger woman and the Casanova-like older man — were “canoodling” as they say in columns like these. Or, in the words of someone present: “he had his tongue down her throat at the table.”

The wife wasn’t there that night. Sometimes, it is said, the wife takes trips for a few weeks. Some speculate she has her own life; he has his. Not a bad idea. Fun for her. Free time for him.

Late last summer, the woman in this story was brought to a luncheon party in Southampton. This time with another man — older, maybe twenty years — a very successful professional; world-famous in fact. Like a lot of single men in these parts, women monitor his every move (who he’s with or not with — if he’s eligible — unmarried, separated, straight, or not).

This guy’s eligible. Big time. Straight. Divorced. Very successful; distinguished. Although he’d not long ago left a long term relationship with a well-known, very successful, professional woman. Leaving the watchers wondering why.

The most recent “why,” I’d guess, is our exotic woman with the fabulous body. At least at this high powered luncheon in Southampton. Not all the women in the room were pleased. With his choice. “She’s dangerous, he should be warned,” one said to another.

A few days later the woman was brought to a very fancy annual dinner dance given by one of the leading hostesses of New York, Southampton, and Washington. This time she came with the Casanova. Sans the wife. The other guy, the successful, world-famous professional, came too. Alone.

“Hmmm,”  the watchers pondered.

A few days after that, our girl showed up at a screening of the new Robert De Niro film in Manhattan. It was a social event, with lots of luminaries in the audience, later entertained by the producers at a dinner at a local restaurant. On this night, she was with Mr. Professional World-Famous. No Casanova in sight.

Four days later at a very fancy lunch on the beach in Southampton, given by a well known art collector/tycoon and his wife, there was our girl again. Only this time with the Casanova, who was at her side and, of course, wifeless.

The following Friday, another tycoon gave a big birthday party for himself in the Hamptons. There she was again. Casanova and she.

A few days later, our Casanova was at another one of those social screenings with a social and celebrity-laden buffet dinner afterwards at Club Colette in Southampton. But with the wife. Our professional-world-famous man was there too. Solo. Our girl was not in sight.

The following Saturday, the Professional-World-Famous and The Girl were amongst the stellar crowd of art mavens attending Robert Wilson‘s Watermill Center Benefit.

Now the watchers were all eyes. Where was our Casanova? Home with the wife?

The cocktail hour at the Watermill Center seemed to go on forever; from six on, hundreds of people milling about taking in the performance artists, the art gallery, finally moving in to the big tent about nine-thirty.

Amongst the diners, of course, were Mr. Prof-World-Famous and The Girl, at a table with a number of other luminaries, artists, tycoons and the like. All having a wonderful time.

And then, about eleven o’clock, just as the evening was starting to heat up after the fund-raising auction, who should show up on the scene but our Casanova.

Again, no wife in sight. Making his way right over to The Table at which was seated our Prof-Wrld-Fmous and The Girl. Pulling up a chair and sitting himself right down next to Her. And of course, Him. Prof-wrld-famous.

Hmmm,”  the watchers were wondering.

But: does the moon care if the dogs bark? Not that night, I promise you.

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