Our most surreal evening started with a loooong walk to a restaurant deep in South Philadelphia that took us through a strange blocked-off street fair lit up like Christmas in Rizzoland, complete with both Santa and a somewhat deflated balloon Grinch, a North Pole express choo-choo for the kids, a tent with a whole roast pig and Sterno tins of pastas, and braziers with fires around which little groups of people were drinking. On our way back we stopped for a glass of wine at a just-opened place called Rhino that made us realize we weren’t all that far from the Jersey Shore, and somehow it seemed like a good idea to check out the bar at Le Bec-Fin on the way back to the hotel, just to see if things were as dead in the temple as they’d appeared from the street when we’d walked past the night before. Our route took us past Butcher and Singer, in the old Striped Bass, and Bob suggested we just take a peek. And OMFG was it ever bizarre. The huge room literally smelled like blood, as all the 1 percenters were tearing into their steaks like hyenas. I thought it looked Felliniesque; Bob compared it to “The Cook, the Thief etc.” Whatever. If they cut Social Security and Medicare to keep those people in the carne money, we’re doomed. A more sedate sort was holding down the chairs at Chez Georges, but one older couple was getting merrily sloshed. Bob: “Looks like they’re going to have a hot time later tonight.” Me: “Yeah, sliding around in the vomit.” But I had the most rewarding realization as we walked through the lobby to bed. The best part of staying in a hip hotel is passing people coming out of the bar and reminding them with your presence: They are drinking in a hotel.