Choking on the velvet rope

By Carina Chocano

By Salon Staff
Published August 15, 2000 7:38PM (EDT)

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I just read your article and I wanted to tell you that when you were throwing those french fries you were throwing them for me, too. Recently I had to call the Mondrian here in L.A. to get their address (an associate of my office was staying there). The conversation went something like this:

Hotel: Mondrian. (<-- said icily)

Me: Hi! (

Hotel: Hello. (<-- brrr)

Me: I just need the address for the Mondrian.

Hotel: Mondrian.

Me: I'm sorry?

Hotel: You said THE Mondrian. There is no THE.

Me: Um, there is no THE?

Hotel: No. Say Mondrian. Just Mondrian.

Me: Mondrian.

Hotel: That's right, Mondrian. (<-- with heavy emphasis on the first syllable, as if they were trying to drop it upon me from some great height)

Me: (long scared pause) OK, um, can I have the address for -- Mondrian please?

Hotel: Yes. (Address given in the meanest way an address has ever been given in the history of giving addresses.)

Now I'm a confident person, but I was a shriveling puddle of nothingness by the end of the call. Sigh. Please withhold my name, or Mondrian might find me and chain me to one of those scary minimalist cubes in the lobby while their white-suited minions insult my L.L. Bean jeans and cheap haircut.

Thanks for a great article,

-- Name withheld at writer's request

My husband and I just rented the penthouse at Ian Schrager's New York Morgans Hotel for the weekend of our June wedding.

The suite was beautiful, and nicely accommodated our pre- and post-wedding activities. These included a traditional Hindu henna body painting party attended by 50 people of various ethnicities, and myself dressed in a red sari leaving on the wedding day with a massive entourage of sari-clad Indian relatives. Heck, I'm sure we were tacky enough to stand around the lobby taking pictures and clashing with the walls.

If I had seen this article before the wedding, I would have opted for the usual exile of monied immigrants: A huge Holiday Inn in the suburbs.

After all, I wouldn't want to throw off the decor of an Ian Schrager venue.

To use the clichi, my red wedding sari must have been neutralized by the massive amount of green required to book the suite.

The Schrager empire may prefer perky white people in their employ, but loosened their standards when it came to whose money they would take. Too bad they didn't ask us what we'd like to see in terms of staffing.

-- Seema Kalia

Salon Staff

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