When I was visiting Los Angeles, I knew I would eventually end up at a rooftop lounge. I love the elevated air and the views to kill. So when my friend Astrid invited me to an exclusive party on the roof of the Sixty Beverly Hills, I threw on a red cocktail dress, and slipped on my Starlette sunglasses.
We stepped out onto the roof, under a pale steel blue sky streaked with the late afternoon hues of a California skyline. A group of tall young women held drinks that matched the orangish red shade tinting the edges of the city skyline. The party was for a young director celebrating the debut of his first film, and was littered by Hollywood’s up-and-coming. A raven haired, blue eyed French actor, who I later learned was the principle star of the movie, was holding court near one end of the pool.
Astrid and I walked over to the bar and ordered two glasses of chardonnay. The wine, a Sonoma Valley, was clean, cool, refreshing and went down easier than it should have.
As Astrid introduced me to a small group of her actor friends, water from the pool landed on my feet. A young man was splashing a woman in a bikini, and she laughed, paddling away. Everyone was having a great time, swimming, dancing, flirting, laughing, conversing. The air was charged with good vibes. I was thankful I'd remembered my Starlettes.
While Astrid and her friends shared horror stories about casting director divas, a barefooted partygoer made a deliberate effort at catching eyes with me. He smelled of tequila, coconut oil and chlorine. I couldn't help thinking of an old jazz tune my mom loved, “The boy from Ipanema.” My Starlettes obscured my eyes from his gaze, and I smiled boldly.
After a couple of hours of meeting too many people to remember, dancing, and being introduced to the young director, Astrid and I both were ready to eat. We left the poolside and made our way to Caulfield's dining room. Wood panel windows that run the length of the walls afforded us a lingering connection to the outdoor festivities while allowing us some quiet to enjoy each others company. It was a welcome chance to rest my feet from my poolside dancing.
After ordering another glass of Chard and a summer salad, we sat and enjoyed each other’s company without the attention seekers and givers. We talked about movies and art galleries.
We were both feeling it was almost time to move on to a new adventure. We slid back out to the party, handed out various congratulations, promised to stay in touch, and headed for the exit of the 60 Beverly Hills. The California sun had set hours ago, and I moved my Starlettes to my head, exposing my eyes to the party attendees' at the pool for the first time.
Making our way to the door, I couldn’t help but wink at the amorous boy from Ipanema, who was gazing at me longingly. See you next time, beautiful. Sorry I can't remember your name.
Guest Author: Brigid Bernard