Gossip Girl walk
Black truffle grilled cheese, headbands, rooftops-OMFG! This snooty trek rocks Midtown East.
Thu Apr 30 2009
Photos: David Sanders
Start: 87 E 42nd St at Park Ave
End: 1011 Third Ave at 60th St
Time: 2.5 hours
Distance: 2.2 miles
1 Start where the show began, at Grand Central Terminal (87 E 42nd St at Park Ave; 212-340-2583). Pause on the West Balcony so a minion can snap a cell-phone shot to post online before heading upstairs to The Campbell Apartment (212-953-0409). Commence an affair with your best friend’s boyfriend, or pay off your dead father’s private investigator for concealed information, then order a Prohibition Punch ($16) at the mahogany bar; it’ll help take the edge off.
2 Having fed the rumor mill, head to Gilt at the Palace Hotel (455 Madison Ave at 51st St; 212-891-8100, giltnewyork.com) to feast on the “Gossip Grill,” a black-truffle grilled cheese modeled after the one Serena van der Woodsen eats in the restaurant’s kitchen during the show’s pilot. The real-life incarnation is served with smoked tomato soup, costs $30 ($50 during white-truffle season) and was named by actor Blake Lively herself. The cast and crew regularly nosh on it when filming here; the kitchen sends out at least four per night.
3 Texting is used as a lethal weapon on the show, so you better guard your mobile device by storing it in one of the silk cell-phone bags ($27) at KC Signatures (667 Lexington Ave between 55th and 56th Sts; 212-755-1450, kcsignatures.com). Hand-embroidered and beaded in India, they’re big enough to fit a BlackBerry or T-Mobile Sidekick, and way more chic than bejeweling your phone with rhinestones—that’s so suburban high-schooler.
4 Head around the corner to Bb.Uptown Salon (146 E 56th St between Lexington and Third Aves; 212-521-6500, bumbleandbumble.com) for a blowout ($60--$75). If you’re pressed for time, pick up Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray ($21), which GG hair-department head Jennifer Johnson uses to create Serena’s waves, or the Spray de Mode hairspray ($25), spritzed on Leighton Meester and Blake Lively for a flexible hold.
5 Escape the smog-choked streets at Salon de Ning (700 Fifth Ave at 55th St, 23rd floor; 212-956-2888, salondening.com), the Peninsula Hotel’s Far East--inspired rooftop bar. According to Blair Waldorf, Chuck Bass “has a thing for rooftops.” Super-strong cocktails like the Ning Sling ($22)—made with Absolut Mandarin and lychee liqueur—are priced for Daddy’s Centurion Card, but they sure beat swilling whiskey from the bottle and screaming, “I’m Chuck Bass!”
6 Headbands are the crown in Queen B’s coiffure, and you can scoop up the same Jennifer Behr and Angel Lust designs donned by Blair at Henri Bendel (712 Fifth Ave at 56th St; 212-247-1100, henribendel.com), where an entire back corner is dedicated to her trademark accessory. Prices range from $22 for simple satin to $398 for a Swarovski-encrusted stunner that one salesperson says “sells like hotcakes.”
7 It’s time to stage a renegade fashion shoot at Pulitzer Fountain (Fifth Ave between 58th and 59th Sts) in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza— la Serena and Blair when they made off with Eleanor Waldorf’s clothing line. Designed to emulate Paris’s Place de la Concorde, the structure has six-tiered granite basins that were filled with tourists until the water was turned on last week. A bronze statue of Pomona, the Roman goddess of abundance (how apropos), tops the fountain.
8 After causing trouble around town, commit an act of charity—at least in Blair’s eyes—by feeding ducks at The Pond in Central Park (Central Park South at Fifth Ave). Enter at the southeast corner, to reach this comma-shaped oasis with stellar skyline views. A sign on the wire fence asks you not to feed the wildlife, but you’re from the Upper East Side today—rules don’t apply to you.
9 Backstabbing works up an appetite. Meander over to Geisha (33 E 61st St between Park and Madison Aves; 212-813-1113, geisharestaurant.com), where Nate tried to woo back Blair over spicy tuna rolls ($13) and edamame ($6) after she learned he slept with Serena. Pick at sushi. Pout at boyfriend. Repeat.
10 Finish the meal at Dylan’s Candy Bar (1011 Third Ave at 60th St; 646-735-0078, dylanscandybar.com), where Dan helped Vanessa pick out bulk sweets ($10.99 a pound) for her anniversary celebration with Nate (she eventually settled on sour gummy worms). Whatever your sucrose preference, be prepared to battle it out with sugar-seeking teenagers—you know, the age group the show actually targets.
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