I am in the middle of two weeks of jury duty, or, at least, standing by for jury duty. Yesterday I wasn’t required (white, old and looks like he might be rude to the judge about the number of incarcerations in the US, maybe?). In any event, I had half the morning off, so, feeling adventurous, I visited the Trump Tower hotel on my way home and announced that I would like a coffee.
Trump Tower is the converted old Post Office headquarters, and it shows. The inner atrium is a great well that reminded me of a Victorian railway station. There are no platforms, but you nonetheless expect a train to arrive at any minute. Indeed there was some sort of strange horizontal metal arrangement suspended from the top of the nine floors that reminded me of railway lines. After an initial struggle to tell the waiter that all I wanted was a cappuccino-and-no-I-am-not-a-resident, I was seated on a hideous plush sofa and could observe the gigantic American flag hanging on the wall, four versions of Fox News, complete with the necessary blondes, on massive screens behind the bar, totally incongruous and fussy chandeliers, and the Louis IXX gilt chairs (yes, I know there was no Louis IXX, but does Trump and his architect?). I did a mini-tour, locating Ivanka’s beauty salon. I think she must be in South Korea preventing the next nuclear war, because she wasn’t there.
At length the cappuccino arrived. It was the worst cappuccino I have ever had in my life. No taste at all, and the bubbles looked as if they came out of a fire hose. When I finished I had to pay, with tip, $13.00. This is the most expensive coffee I have ever had. The question is whether taking $13.00 from me constitutes a Presidential conflict of interest, in which case readers can look forward to the worst cappuccino in history actually getting into the legal history books. The adventure should have made me grumpy about wasting time and money. Instead it set me up with as much Epicurean ataraxia as I needed for the rest of the day because everything falls into place. I am now convinced that we can add bad taste to the other misdemeanors.