Saturday, November 29, 2008

A pre-Depression walk on the Upper East Side.

I finished a short and labored run and decided to walk home from the park. I began meandering along Madison Avenue. First I stopped in Villebrequon. They make high-end swim trunks that cost between $185 and $265 a pair. Perhaps in the scheme of women's swim-wear that ain't a lot, but it's a heckuva lot more than the cut-off Levi's I've been wearing.

"Tink of dem as an invessmen," the exotic sales clerk purred. "An' dey coom vit a vallet to hol yur tings," she said handing me a vinyl ziplock bag.

Next stop a men's store with a $365 leather baseball cap.

Final stop, the pinochle of posh. In a "gourmet" food shop, a small batch of only 75 jars of apricot jam, each jar signed and numbered by the jammer. I almost gagged on the handful of cashew nuts I had stolen and had begun to scarf down.

All this makes me think of Jean Renoir's "Rules of the Game," a movie many critics consider the best ever made. It's a scathing critique of the French aristocracy fiddling while Paris is about to burn--or at least be occupied.

I'll close with a nice little couplet from the flick:

Robert de la Cheyniest: Corneille! Put an end to this farce!
Corneille, le majordome: Which one, your lordship?

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