Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cookie Pinzer,The Donald & Me

Brooklyn Beat had a week off from the office. Despite a couple of weeks of wandering in the logistical wilderness as we tried to plan an Escape from New York for a few days, we came up blank, zilch. At a friend's recommendation, we booked a couple of rooms for Mr. & Mrs. Brooklyn Beat & 3 of our kids (our 3 teens; Principessa, our oldest, stayed home) at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I had not been to AC in years. And years. I reflected on the Atlantic City of its era of transition as highlighted in Louis Malle's classic film of the same name:





We were late as usual in arriving in town. We couldn't get appropriate accommodations on the same floor, much less connecting, although we had booked in advance. As we registered, the gentleman, who it turned out graduated from the same high school as our son, and has family on the same street in Brooklyn as we do, excused himself and upon returning, with a smile, reported that due to the inconvenience, he was able to upgrade our rez, to a Taj Mahal suite, that was huge and fine indeed, along with a connecting room room for our kids. So we had an awesome 36 story view of Atlantic City horizon, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Jersey shore. 3 baths. Jacuzzi. Balcony. Many TVs.

We gamboled on the Boardwalk. Gambled in the casino. Enjoyed a great Tribeca-styled evening at the Trattoria Il Mulino ("the mill") in the Taj. Wonderful service. Great food. Also a fun seafood dinner at the Atlantic City Bar & Grill on Pacific St. Shopped at the Walk (the outlets). Hard Rock Cafe. Walked the length of the Boardwalk. Watched the premier of Warehouse 13 and a few episodes of Nurse Jackie. Read my way through a couple of stories in David Foster Wallace's Oblivion --"The Suffering Channel" & "Mr Squishy" very memorable, as well as beginning Gentleman of the Road by Michael Chabon.

The casino thing is an acquired taste, part threadbare luxe for the masses (that's us) and a certain kind of funny challenge of luck and fortune. Less anyone think AC is now Disneyland, as Burt Lancaster's character in Malle's film feared it would become, "The Angels" did their scantily clad dancing and singing thing, (remember "These Boots are Made for Walking", anyone?), although, like strollers in bars in Park Slope, families wandered through the casino perimeter with their young ones, while the Angels shimmied and shook.

When I realized how many people were employed in AC alone (Trump himself owns the Taj Mahal, the Trump Marino, and the Trump Plaza, I believe) and what a mighty economic engine "entertainment, hospitality and leisure" represents, I had a new respect for "The Donald."




It was a fun week away.

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