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  1. Wealth
March 7, 2009

Silent nights in Manhattan

By Spear's

I like the nightlife; I like to boogie. But it seems these days my boogieing is less rave and more pas de deux.

I like the nightlife; I like to boogie. But it seems these days my boogieing is less rave and more pas de deux.

Last night I went to my usual Thursday night dinner at the Waverly Inn, Graydon Carter’s ultra-exclusive restaurant with a permanent bank of paparazzi waiting outside for the inevitable Hollywood superstar to emerge.

For years, I have battled the Thursday night throngs to fight my way to my friend Kim Vernon’s table, arriving there exhausted and thirsting for a drink. Only last night I penetrated the glitterati lickety-split.

Has the credit crunch hit even this bastion of see-and-be-seen, the non plus ultra of New York celebrity dining? The crowd at the bar was noticeably thinner, but I reserved judgment.

As the $1000+ bill arrived, everyone at the table suddenly started negotiating with the waiter: did we really have 10 vodka tonics? Were the bottles of wine really so much? Who picked the wine anyway?

The waiter, smiling and unfazed, assured us that the bill was correct – and he didn’t seem the least surprised by the interrogation.

Not yet entirely broke, we then decided to plot our after-dinner drinks venue. How about Bungalow 8? Amy Sacco, its proprietess, has been a personal friend for 17 years, but then it doesn’t really get going until 1 a.m. and that’s a whole different kind of evening altogether.

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“Actually,” pointed out one diner, “it’s not getting going that much anymore; another victim of the credit crunch.” Say it isn’t so?! One diner rose to Bungalow’s defence and assured that would only be a temporary blip.

Deciding that the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel would be too hectic and too far, we opted for Norwood, a private club-cum-townhouse on 14th Street.

The ground floor lounge was much more relaxed than usual, so we took the lift up to the third floor bar, the groovy room, but there was not that much action there either. “The only real parties these days are in people’s homes,” said an Egyptian artist friend. “Maybe we should all go home.”

Yes, maybe. So off I went back to Park Avenue, not to a party, but to my little dog who was snoozing away and greeted me with a wagging tail. And I suspect she won’t be the only dog in Manhattan suddenly getting a lot more attention, as happy pets emerge the real victors in the credit crunch.

Suddenly, it really is a dog’s life, and the dogs are laughing all the way to Central Park.

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