We happened upon the grand opening bash for the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains last night, which brought out an odd mix of Bedford blueblood broads in iron-gray hair and builder-types in ill-fitting suits, white socks, and giant phones strapped to their belts.
Seating was hard to come by. The Missus and I spied a small table occupied by a couple and their toddler daughter, a winsome whelp who singlehandedly brought the average age of the party down below 75. We did the requisite ‘mind if we crash?’ pleasantries and took a seat at their table.
The couple moved to the Ritz earlier this month after a decade in Manhattan. The guy worked in finance, and said his commute now was pretty much what it had been when he was cabbing it from way lower Manhattan up to midtown.
For commuters, the walk from the Ritz-Carlton to the White Plains train is a breeze: I half-walked/half-jogged in last night’s drizzle and did it in five minutes. But the guy mentioned how he hopped a shuttle to the White Plains train each morning.
I asked if he had an easy time of it once he got to Manhattan. He did, in fact, with his office on 49th and Madison.
“My exposure to the outside is pretty limited,” he said with a smile.
The man then revealed that he, in fact, hailed a cab each day to take him from Grand Central to 49th and Mad!
OK, that back entrance/exit in Grand Central takes you out to 47th and Mad, if I remember correctly. So the guy was cabbing it from 47th and Mad to 49th and Mad! How did he not have enough self respect to at least lie to me about this?
The Missus and I politely excused ourselves and said we were going to mingle. As I got to my feet, I kept picturing the man laboring through the bike/train/foot triathlon I do each morning.
The Ritz-Carlton was pretty cool. With that 32-odd minute train ride from White Plains, a resident could be at their office within an hour, door to door. Security was extremely tight, the guys with the fusilli behind the ear even following me into the can at one point. Which made it kind of strange when I somehow ended up not on the guest list, but was let in anyway.
Other notes: the view from the 42nd floor is great, even on a cloudy night — Wal-Mart never looked so good. The buffet line at BLT Steak was too long to wait on, so we didn’t in fact get to try BLT Steak while attending an event that was explained to us as “a grand opening for BLT Steak.” Kind of disappointing. And at one point I saw megabuilder Louis Capelli imploring a scribe from Villagers Vote Down Tax Proposal …I mean, the Journal News… to “write something nice about me.”