It was Bastille Day at dusk, and Le Bain was hosting a party for Saint James, the French clothier known for its yacht-ready stripy threads. The 122-year old company had teamed with Andre Saraiva, nightlife’s party-hopping Gallic ambassador, on a new shirt. It would make sense, then, to head to a place like the top-floor Standard Hotel balcony.
We texted a writer for another New York publication to size up the scene, just in case. A few minutes later, our phone rang out.
“It’s lovely!” the reply read. “But now people are fucking in the hot tub.”
As it turns out, “fucking” was being used as a verb in that sentence rather than a descriptor, at least according to the writer. The down and dirty stuff appeared to have ended, or was more discreet, but had given way to the post-coital frolicking of topless women and nearly naked men. Did they buy their tiny swim suits from the swim suit vending machine upstairs? Yes, they did.
The room smelled of chlorine and the floor was speckled with the water from the dripping bodies. The Observer contemplated taking a plunge but decided against it. Who can say where these half-naked party-goers had been before jumping in the hot tub in the back of the bar?
Upstairs on the roof, the air had cooled and it felt good to be outside. People were drinking a cocktail called “la guillotine.” They were watching fireworks explode over the Hudson. The Observer took a seat on a big water bed and looked up, grateful for the dryness.