Okay, since I didn’t get to go out in search of a swizzle stick yesterday, tonight’s the night, to quote either Neil Young or Rod the Mod. One bar I never made it to on the bar crawl but always meant to go was the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station. It’s kind of a fancy Dan joint and I’m thinking we may score a swizzle there. I’ve only been there twice, but if I remember correctly, It’s expensive, but I worked overtime last night so it’s off we go.
It's a rainy night out, but at least it's not that cold for this time of year.
That's what Jerry Sandusky said.
Down into the subway we go.
And with the blink of an eye and the magic of the internet, here we are, Grand Central Station.
I always come to the clock information booth in the middle of the main concourse to get my bearings.
Okay, up the stairs...
Out these doors...
And here we are, Campbell's Apartment. Let's go inside and see what's happening.
It’s dark in here and I’m putting my camera away. I just got hit by a wave of bad and scary vibrations. I’ve been in here before, but both of those times were in the day and the patrons were a somewhat harmless combination of wide-eyed tourists and weary commuters getting a high-priced drink before moving along and minding their own worthless business.
This crowd is weird in here tonight. Ages range from early thirties to very old. Everyone is draped in expensive duds, there’s a thirty-something woman in a black dress with a diamond on her finger which is the size of one of Rosie O’Donnell’s bowel movements. As I said, she’s in a black dress and she’s neither long nor cool, but her shiny silver shoes probably cost more than I make in five months of hard labor. She has shoulder length blonde hair, a bit of a lined and hard face and is cackling like a hen on mescaline at some old man croaking away in an expensive navy blue, pin-striped suit who somewhat resembles Cesar Romero with a thyroid condition. One strange thing is that no one’s drinking in here, it’s too crowded to get to the bar and people are holding drinks, but no one’s drinking them. This makes me nervous, over at McSorley’s right now, the patrons are throwing back beers served two at a time, like prohibition is going to rear its ugly head again at any minute. God, how I wish I was there.
I decide to take another picture, but as I do, several people have started eyeballing both myself and Gumby, so the shot turns out like shit. Everybody’s white in here and dressed to the nines, Gumby’s green and he’s nude. An unpopular and very wrong combination for this uptight and upperwardly mobile obscene crowd. I was getting flashed some pretty downward glances myself. Every man in here has an expensive suit and tie on, I’m wearing my seven-year-old black Navy pea coat, a black jean shirt with a hole in the sleeve and black Levi’s with a pizza stain on the left thigh. I sweat a lot and it’s hot in here, so perspiration is rolling down my face worse than Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. It’s very uncomfortable for me in here right now.
It was right then and there that the nerve-rattling and bone-chilling realization of where I was hit me in the face like a 700 pound bag of dead hamsters: It was the 1%! That’s right, I was right in the belly of the beast of the motherfucking 1%. The 99% can’t even get a decent foothold in Zuccotti Park, but the 1% are here at Occupy Campbell’s Apartment, lounging on expensive couches and eating free peanuts without a care. And why shouldn’t the peanuts be free, these greedy fuckheads probably own the motherfucking peanut factory. And the workers in the factory just took another 10% pay cut, so fill up those crystal bowls on the bar and strike up Alexander’s Ragtime Band.
I could feel the tension building, an outsider had snuck in to their fancy high priced lounge, one of those 99% scumballs who think you belong in jail just because you’ve pulled bank frauds, evaded taxes, manipulated stocks and pretty much ruined the economy while continuing to get rich off other people’s losses. They have my number all right and I have to think quick and get out the fuck out of here before one of their Nazi-like, goose-stepping, box-headed goons shows up and whisks me away to take me home, give me an eye-blinding spray pepper shower, beat me up, burn all my books and then throw me in jail for consorting with a green, nude, cartoon bag—that’s something that they really hate. All of a sudden I know what I have to do.
“Hi Mayor Bloomberg,” I shout out to the corner of the room in my best Eddie Haskell, “Gee you look swell, Mrs. Cleaver,” voice.
All heads turn to get an eyefull of their shifty, helium-brained, ferret-faced leader and Gumby and I race out the door and to the safety of a car on a downtown number six train. I click my heels three times on the way.
The Good Witch was right, there’s no place like home.
And there’s plenty of swizzle sticks here too. Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.
Occupy Campbell’s Apartment
Grand Central Terminal
15 Vanderbilt Ave. (Near 43rd St.)
Further reading: Wonkblog, Rolling Stone and The Guardian.