of my jacket pocket. By this point, with my full workday and tonight’s party of all parties to plan, I was more surprised when it wasn’t going off. A sound, deafening even by midtown Manhattan standards, hammered into my ears as I made the corner. Was it a jackhammer? A construction pile driver? Of course not, I thought, as I spotted a black kid squatting on the sidewalk, playing drums on an empty Spackle bucket. Luckily, I also spotted my lunch appointment, Aidan Beck, at the edge of the crowded street performance. Without preamble, I hooked elbows with the fair, scruffily handsome young man and pulled him into the chic Hudson. At the top of the neon-lit escalator, a concierge who looked like one of the happy, shiny cast members of High School Musical smiled from behind the Carrara marble check-in desk. “Hi. I called twenty minutes ago,” I said. “I’m Mrs. Smith. This is Mr. Smith. We’d like a room with a large double bed. The floor or view doesn’t matter. I’m paying cash. I’m really in a rush.” The clerk took in my sweating face and the contrast between my sexy office attire and my much younger companion’s faded jeans and suede jacket with seeming approval. “Let’s get you to your room, then,” the über-happy concierge said without missing a beat.