Full disclosure: I don't believe in ghosts. In fact, I got into a heated debate about the spirit world (or lack thereof) this weekend with two of my oldest and closest friends.
I think they're both nuts for believing in ghosts, and they both think I'm a stick-in-the-mud cynic who isn't tuned into and open to the right spiritual energy frequency. I'm willing to entertain this possibility, but it would take a pretty dramatic personal experience to change my mind.
Let the record show that this experience would not be attending a seance in the Dakota on Central Park West, hosted by two 20-something sibling socialites, a millennial Persian princess, and the alleged ghost of Leonard Bernstein.
I'd like to think that even if Leonard Bernstein's ghost were lurking within summoning distance, the musical genius composer of West Side Story would not stoop to appear before a Steinway piano flanked by Toby and Larry Milstein, two rich-to-the-point-of-it-should-be-criminal-but-never-will-be-because-America-is-an-oligarchy-masquerading-as-a-free-market-capitalist-democracy children who are dressed for the occasion in a "striped Fendi halter dress with matching booties and Gucci fur-lined leather slippers with a Club Monaco top."
Toby, 24, took a break from her job as a "business developer for a tech startup that makes interactive photo albums" to let the NYT fashion and style section into her parents' 8-zillion square foot apartment on behalf of its former occupant: a long-dead Broadway legend who almost certainly would find them repellent. Not deterred, Larry, 22, implied that hosting a seance was a great use of everyone's time because surely Leonard Bernstein would appreciate Larry reaching out toward his "vibrations."
Then there was this, which I will just leave here without comment:
The author of the Times piece seemed distinctly unimpressed with the seance, noting that by the end, all the assembled living souls had to show for their efforts in terms of "spirits" was Jack Daniels whisky and the rumbling of the A-Train.
Even though the Milsteins intended this spread as a promotional effort for their "philanthropy" (read: tax-sheltered redistribution of wrongly-acquired wealth) it didn't quite come off that way. These two aren't impressing anyone, living or dead.
As the also-dead Leonard Cohen would say, "everybody knows."