(VANITY FAIR) — How do I know him? Where have I seen him? The Man in the Hat looked familiar, I thought, as I peered over at him a second time.
It was Christmas Eve 2017. My family and I were about to be seated at a quaint restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village. We had just come from Gramercy Park—on the one night each year when the exclusive park (accessible only to nearby residents with special keys) opens its gates to outsiders. There had been carols. People had sung with abandon. In short, it was a magical night. I was happy.
Amid the glow of candles and soft lighting, I strained to look again at the Man in the Hat. He was part of a small group that had just exited the main dining room. They were now gathering their belongings, likely vacating what was to be our table. And then it clicked. He looks just like . . . no, couldn’t be. Could it?
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