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Archive for the tag “Gossip Girl”

My fun weekend

I had such a fun weekend. My friend Ginger has been here and Saturday a group of us spent the day in Baltimore, a city that I’m crazy about. We had lunch at Yabba Pot, a great vegan restaurant:

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Then we visited Ginger’s Uncle Dudley, a writer whose huge apartment is covered head-to-toe in folk art and “outsider art”.

Paintings were hung on every inch of the wall, salon-style (and still more were in stacks leaning against walls). It was thrilling. I recognized work by Ned Cartledge, Ruby C. Williams and friend-of-a-friend Carrie Price among the lot.

Then the five of us walked around Hampden, the hipster section — and incidentally my favorite part –of Baltimore. Will someone please explain to me why the word “Hon” is on every sign and bumper sticker in Baltimore? For example, “Come here and pray, hon!” on a church sign. And cafes and bars with the word “Hon” in their monikers. I understand that it’s some kind of Baltimore-ese.

The city is also not afraid to capitalize on being the home of cult director John Waters, as evidenced by this gigantic pink flamingo above –where else? –Cafe Hon:

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On Sunday night, Ginger, who’s an actor, hooked us up with tickets to see The Dog In The Manger, a funny 17th century Spanish play about love and class, at D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company Lansburg Theatre. My lady friend was most excited because she recognized Michelle Hurd, the lead actress, from her brief stint on Gossip Girl. (She also played a detective on the first season of Law & Order: SVU. Not that I checked out her IMDB page).

We finished off Sunday night by dining at Clyde’s, an almost anachronistic restaurant. Here’s the description on its own web pages:

The grand Victorian saloon recalls Hong Kong’s Empire-era opulence and celebrates the sporting life in an impressive collection bronze sculpture and oil paintings.

And it doesn’t even mention the large tiki statues in the faux jungle greenery.

How about you? Was your weekend good?

Jay McInerney on ‘Gossip Girl’?

It’s true. Former 1980s It Boy Jay McInerney, author of one of the Big Apple’s definitive novels Bright Lights, Big Cities, is going to make a cameo on an upcoming episode of the CW’s insipid Gossip Girl.

Do you think this will inspire the kids to check out McInerney’s oeuvre? Or will it be like the time Tony Dow of Leave It to Beaver guest starred as Sarah Jessica Parker’s dad on Square Pegs? We were all like, “OMG, isn’t that Wally?”

Since Gossip Girl is all about the base instincts and material lust of a pack of well-heeled Manhattan teens, shouldn’t the show have tapped Bret Easton Ellis instead?

Ellis, author of Less Than Zero,The Rules of Attraction, and American Psycho, has such a jones for the troubled rich kid stories.

True story: when I was 14, I read Less Than Zero cover to cover at a B. Dalton bookstore in the mall while I waited for my mother to shop.

A few years later I read Bright Lights, Big City and and was pleasantly surprised.

What about you? Team Ellis? or Team McInerney? Are you, like my girlfriend, a closet Gossip Girl viewer?

I’m reading

You’re on your own for the next few hours. I’ve got bit of freelance work to do and then I’m sitting down (actually lying in the bed) with Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities. I always meant to read the book back in the 1980s when it caused such a ruckus and opened up a conversation about race and class issues in the United States. (I was an annoyingly well-read teen, yes.)

However, the book, set in the newly yuppified Manhattan of the 1980s, holds up frighteningly well. With shows like Gossip Girl and The Hills popular with the teen set, Real Housewives for the wannabe glamorous, and modern day icons like rich bitch Paris Hilton, American culture has come full circle again.

What’s important nowadays? The right address. A bigger, better cell phone. (Thanks, Apple!) Clothes with the right labels behind your neck. For awhile, in the 1990s, we renounced that stuff (or at least kept our material lust a private matter). But, status and elitism are back and more fashionable than ever. Even WASPiness is in vogue again. Nowadays rappers dress like preppies. Speaking of preppies, 1980s bad boy Robert Chambers aka “The Preppy Murderer” is back in the news after all these years by getting himself arrested on drug charges.

All of it makes the book – which might have been passe’ a few short years ago – all the more interesting to read.

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