Tuesday , 21 October 2014
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Going first class: How the one percenters live

Going first class: How the one percenters live

My model of the Titanic

I just went to the theater (by myself — guess why) to see the latest version of James Cameron’s Titanic in 3D.

I heartily recommend it. Don’t ask me why I — and so many others — am fascinated by this 100-year-old story, but I am.

Part of it stems from thinking of people making choices on how they wish to die, knowing that the end is very near and nothing can be done to save them. Sept. 11, 2001 had the same drama — people standing on window ledges deciding whether to burn to death or dive 80 stories into a concrete sidewalk. Whew!

There are other elements of Titanic that I find fascinating. Cameron discussed it in one of his recent TV recaps of the incident. He makes note of the three classes of passengers aboard ship and the Edwardian lifestyle of the first class compared to those third class passengers in steerage.

Of course the upper class had a much better chance of survival and he compares that to what he believes might be an inevitable rise in ocean levels in which those that can afford to seek refuge from the floods will do so, and the rest of us…glub, glub.

Being a part of the 99 percent I thought it might be a good idea to view just how the one percenters live. Where best to view that but in Palm Beach on Worth Avenue, so off I went with my 99 percent mate to go “shopping.”

My mate spotted a cute little beige purse in a store called Bottega Veneta. I thought I would show her what a sport I was and went in to do the unforgivable — ask “how much.”

The lovely clerk answered, “How much do you think?”

I knew I was in a fancy place so I went high and said $975. After a few hidden snickers she told me it was $2,380.

“Thank you but I need to keep looking.”

Ralph Lauren had a cute little red alligator number for only $16,995, but I hate to be a showoff.

My shopping companion was complaining about her shoes feeling uncomfortable with all this walking so I went into Jimmy Choo’s to see if I could find something more comfortable for her. I found a beautiful pair of pumps (or whatever they are called) for only $975. I was in a bit of a hurry at that point so I said I would be back later.

I love music and passed a store with a huge “DO NOT TOUCH” sign on a magnificent grand piano covered entirely with alligator leather. Just what I have always wanted, but again we had dinner reservations and I was in a hurry. The price? A lot!

Later that evening we finally arrived at our “First Class” dining room, a restaurant called TA-BOÓ. I really felt out of place there and knew absolutely no one. Me, the vice mayor of Cutler Bay! The hostess asked me why I looked so forlorn when the maitre d’, Kevin, spotted my dilemma and immediately greeted me as though I were a regular. He even came to our table later to see how my grandkids were doing. Class!

The food understandably was great but the scenery even better. There appeared a whole cadre of old men (my age) with gorgeous long-legged blonds attached to them at the waist. My dining companion suggested the men must be very rich and that the women had all kinds of after-market enhancements and lots of nips and tucks. I didn’t see it that way. I assumed all the old men just had great personalities and these hot babes were attracted to their sense of humor. You decide who is right. We argue about this all the time.

I did save some money that day however. I haven’t been to an auto show in some time but sitting near the open window in front of TA-BOÓ, I got to see a parade of cars that I don’t usually see. Besides the obligatory Rolls Royces and Bentleys, there was a stream of Masseratis, Lamborghinis, Maybachs and every model of Mercedes Benz made. Mercedes in Palm Beach is the new Toyota.

The cars all were driven by these same “old men” so perhaps that is what was attracting the leggy blonds. I still think those guys must have great personalities. In any event, when the sea begins to rise, you had better get to know some of these people, because they are much more likely to survive!

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