Ornate alabaster vases line the wall

of the tiled checkerboard foyer.   A thick

glass door separates the street from onyx

stairs and polished brass handles.  An angelic

frieze decorates the ceiling; noticed only by

children.  Atop a marble table sits the daily

bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Centered above the table,

a gold framed mirror affirms to those passing

in or out that hats are at the correct angle and ties

are straight.  There is a remarkable quiet here

until the door opens and the air of the city trespasses.


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