Sunday, April 1, 2012

Penthouse View

Santa Monica as seen from The Huntley
THE PENTHOUSE restaurant and bar, perched on the top floor of the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, is known for its panoramic views of that city and the ocean. Great windows line every wall continuously, even in the bathroom, which makes the place even more specifically known for its view of the ocean from the last stall in the ladies room.

The view inside is also something to be remembered. So many of the stereotypes of LA come alive there. I went there a couple weekends ago with my friends, and we were the youngest people there, but luckily only by a few years. The entire floor was packed, and though the room was lined with luxe cabanas, no one was sitting at them. That’s because the minimum price for a table was $350, and everyone was dancing to the mixture of pop songs coming from the DJ’s table anyway.

You had the businessmen in suits. The hipsters. The dyed blonde, stick thin, middle-aged woman who was tottering about in high heels with an unnaturally large chest. The young women clad in super expensive clothing. Ousiders, insiders, people on the cusp. Everyone was there. It really makes you wonder where you fit in in all of this, and what all those people think when they are looking at you.

It was a great place. Fun, and trendy, and excellent people-watching. Given all the spectacles to be seen (or looked away from, I didn’t realize I was going to have to relive parts of my high school dances), it is relatively surprising that one person stood out from all the rest.

Let’s call him the “sensitive artist.”

A section of the floor deigned a few couches and some comfy looking chairs, all of which were filled by the time we got there, so he must have staked his claim quite early. He sat there, in the back of the room, reading a book. This, I thought, was a little odd. When someone got up and my friends and I pounced on their seats, I was able to get a little closer and see which book he was reading. It was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” No joke. This guy was reading Shakespeare at 12:30 a.m. in a hip, crowded bar. Even I, and English major who happens to love Shakespeare, would never fall for that. I wanted to ask him why. It seems so odd. I have to believe it was to pick up girls. I can’t think of another reason. So I guess it kind of worked, because I was quite curious about him. Eventually, he moved closer to the dancing and then he left. I went to the bathroom with my friend and waited for the last stall so I could check out the ocean.

It was a great view.

-- Allie Flinn

Photo from Flickr, taken by kristi.nicole

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