|Gross and Goldberger|
Gross has just written House of Outrageous Fortune about the new building at 15 Central Park West, designed and built for New York's uber-wealthy. His story is shocking in its excess, the sheer gluttony of fortune of the very rich and their every need. No, not need. Whim. It's gold bathing in gold.
The crowd that evening was young, educated and white. They might be the same people who would go to that club on a Saturday night, but it was a Wednesday and they were there to relax with a drink and listen to two writers talk about their city.
New York was in many senses a much smaller place back in the 1970s, for the white middle-class at least, Goldberger rightly pointed out. Much of the city was out of bounds. The parks were off limits at night, not by any ordinance but by the rougher rules of urban life. The Bronx could have been the moon. Manhattan's Soho itself was artsy but ungentrified. Walking down lower Broadway was as an aggressive experience. Stores spilled out onto sidewalks, selling piles of jeans, or piles of shoes. History informs.
It struck me how many of the same themes are true in Cambridge too.