Quite simply it was the most breathtaking view of Manhattan I’d ever seen. True, it wasn’t that ultimate mark of status, not the arriviste, paid-for view, but the unexpected view (“Yes, the bathroom’s just down the hall. When you go in, take a look to your right, I think you’ll like what you see”), but still it was impressive. From the triple-faced wraparound corner balcony, thrusting like the prow of a mighty 19th century dreadnought across the churning waves and stormy swells of the Sea of Manhattan with only the slight ripples wrinkling the surface of a freshly made and casually clutched cocktail to give the possessor a sense of the turbulence it bestrode, the night sky offered Manhattan to the southwest, its lit-up buildings so many whitecaps on the dark that stretched from the Jersey Highlands ridgeline out over the vast Meadowlands to the jet-sliced air over the landing lights dotting the Newark basin, streaming south to, appropriately enough, the Atlantic Ocean and points unknown. But as far flung as the matchless view on display was, nothing could have been further flung, no points more deeply unknown than the viewpoint of the apartment’s occupant. For here, high above the Upper East Side of Tolerance Central, so imbued as a locale with smarts and sophistication that it puts the zip in zip code, was that rarest of phenomena: an intelligent, informed New Yorker who was an Obama birther. Breathtaking, indeed.
Until I saw it myself, I would hardly have believed it existed. But at a holiday party hosted by a few friends and out-of-towners, intimates and acquaintances mingling casually, here it