Sorry you couldn’t hang with us cool people up in the Ghostbar, Ryan. Here’s what the sloppily scrawled notes in my Moleskine suggest happened last night:
Approaching the W around 7:15, we espy a painfully long line for the valet. Moaning. Then inspiration: why not try one of the lots over at the AAC? And, sure enough, they were empty. And the only cost of parking was the one-block stroll to the W. Come on, Dallas! Walking is good for you! Pulling into the spot next to us was state senator Royce West (with son). West is big. And he walks very, very slowly.
When we get to the purple-carpeted entrance, I realize that I couldn’t be more underdressed unless I were wearing shorts. I am wearing loafers, brown slacks, and a blue guayabera shirt. Most guys are in suits. Silly Tim.
By the front door, there are models in suspended wicker chairs shaped like eggs (the chairs, not the models). The chairs are 8 feet off the ground. The models are waving. Will this be SOP for the W? What a crappy job.
Inside, it is packed. I mean, packed. I think I got two women pregnant without meaning to. A busty W woman comes by with a platter of potato truffles served on Japanese soup spoons. I eat one, because it seems like the right thing to do. I say, “Mmm, tasty,” even though I want to spit it out.
Domingo Garcia walks by. Nice mustache. He looks lost.
We shuffle over to Craft, where Robert “Fingers of Fury” Wilonsky already has a table. He says, in his delightfully imitable baritone, “Dude, I’ve already blogged the whole thing. Beat you to it.” (Here is his take on the evening.) In line for food are Matrice and Ron Kirk. Ron is wearing a suit with a pink shirt, no tie. He looks good. And hungry. Also spotted: Scott Ginsburg. He has a large head. Literally. Has anyone ever noticed this?
We get a text message. Our wives are already in Ghostbar. (Does it take an article? Ghostbar. The Ghostbar. More research needed.) We decamp.
The line for that Ghostbar elevator is surprisingly short. I would later hear that it took an hour to get upstairs. We learn that drinks are not to be carried onto the elevator. They are serious about this.
The elevator is fast. I mean, it’s impressive. And the guy who runs the elevator is so good-looking that my (straight) friend, Eric Celeste (of Spirit magazine), develops a crush on him before we reach the 33rd floor.
This Ghostbar is quite something. The waitresses are outfitted in white knee-high boots, white fishnets, and white miniskirts. The views are good. So are the scenic vistas out the windows. (Thank you, Ghostbar! I’ll be here all week!) There is shrimp cocktail everywhere. And women bearing tiny sandwiches. Cocktails are secured. Wives are located. Life is good.
We see Randall Goss, and I shake his hand. Randall used to own the dearly departed Met when Eric and I worked there. Eric goes to shake his hand, and Randall hugs Eric, which creates some awkwardness because then I say, “Hey, where’s my hug?” Which forces Randall to hug me. Observation: Randall knows how to show chest hair without looking cheesy. How does he does this? Again, more research needed.
I wander out to the much-ballyhooed glass-floored patio. It’s discomforting. I wonder if you were standing on the sidewalk, 33 floors below, could you look up women’s dresses? Could you do it with binoculars? Research!
When I return to the wives and friends, a photographer takes our picture. I ask the photographer, “Do you need our names?” The photographer just stares at me. Silly Tim.
Oh, look! There’s that guy! Who is he? You know. Oh, it’s Nick Stahl. He’s way more underdressed than I am, but he pulls it off.
My wife says, “There’s a guy who is someone. I recognize him. In the blue shirt. Who is that?” It’s Hercules (aka Kevin Sorbo). He’s talking to Jose Eber. Message to Hercules: go see Jose. You need a haircut.
Skip Hollandsworth arrives, borne into that Ghostbar on a throne carried by nubile interns. He says, “I’m Mr. Texas Monthly!” Okay, there’s no throne. But I swear, he does say, “I’m Mr. Texas Monthly!” He immediately sets to making disingenuous self-deprecating remarks while flirting with everything wearing lipstick. How does his dear wife Shannon put up with him?
At this point it is nearing 10 o’clock. My wife informs me that she told my babysitting mom we’d be home by 9:30. I go looking for a quieter place to make a call. The patio doesn’t work. Can’t get reception. I wander into the men’s room and see Skip. I make a tacky remark that, as far as you know, I can’t recall. And I still can’t get reception. A W employee is cleaning the restroom. I tell him, “Man, I can’t get any reception.” He says, “Yeah, it’s terrible up here. No one can get cell reception.” He opens a utility closet and I ask him if I can try to place a call from inside the closet. He looks at me weird but lets me give it a try. Hot tip: you can actually get a strong cell signal in the utility closet of the men’s bathroom in this Ghostbar. Take that, Robert Wilonsky. That’s the kind of insidery information you’ll only get from FrontBurner.
By now, Ghostbar is crazy packed. Drinks are hard to come by. I decide to be Mr. Big Tipper. One last round before we leave. Why not? The drinks are free, and I would have spent $20 on cover on any other weekend night up here. So I find a waitress and give her a twenty, yelling into her ear, “I’d appreciate it if you’d help me and my group at your earliest convenience!” She hollers, “You don’t have to pay me!” I shout, “I’m not paying you! I’m tipping you because I appreciate your help!” She screams, “Okay, what do you want?!” I order two Dewers and two glasses of white wine. She returns moments later with the drinks and exclaims, “That’ll be thirty-four!” I take a second to process that, then bray, “Did you guys switch to cash at some point?!” She squawks, “Yes!” Silly Tim.
Then we see Tall Paul. And someone pepper sprays the joint. The people at a Ghostbar say it wasn’t pepper spray. But trust me: it’s pepper spray. The cops down on the street would later confirm as much. People start pushing each other in the back, trying to get to the elevators. There is much sneezing and coughing and eye-rubbing. Adam hollers to his wife, “Hey, Ashlie, this reminds me of our first date!”
It was a good line. And we’ll let it serve as our end for the evening.