Cindy Bilton Does New York–Homeless

The Transom hasn’t caught up with Tatler–arguably the world’s greatest magazine–in a while. In the November issue, we find the stunning story of Cindy Bilton, who lives at a “Palladian mansion” called Croome Court, in Worcestershire. (Its walled garden was the first to be designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Ms. Bilton’s husband, Lawrence, would like to build and sell bungalows on the property; the National Trust nearly crapped itself.)

Ms. Bilton reports that the last time she came to New York, it was on the Concorde, with a suite at the Four Seasons. But at the behest of a gang of Buddhists, and some unnamed TV crew, she returned earlier this year to spend four days as a homeless person.

In preparation, she bought a new jacket, as she thought her Prada wouldn’t “quite cut it on the streets.” Also, on the way to the airport, she purchased some Tom Ford sunglasses. Here are some of the things she learned about our fair city during her four days:

· Long synagogue services on the Lower East Side are improved by water bottles full of vodka.
· It feels better to smoke butts from the gutter than it does to ask fresh ones of passers-by.
· Bryant Park has great public bathrooms!
· People don’t seem to notice the homeless. They walk right by them!
· The Staten Island Ferry is warm–and free!
· Stupid people begin cycling on the Hudson River park paths well before dawn.
· The Mercer Hotel doormen, shockingly, don’t admit homeless people.