Friday, October 10, 2008


I went to Vogue the other day. I had asked Abigail Walch, one of their feature editors with whom I am friendly, if I could come sit in the Condé Nast library to do research on my new novel, and she graciously said yes. So I put on my black high heeled boots, and a little black dress that I got at a little boutique in Silver Lake when I still lived in LA that I love because 1) the way it is cut, and 2) because its provenance is impossible to discern. And I he aded down to their great building on 42nd street. The library is on the 4th floor,
right by the cooking kitchen for Gourmet - yum! I got there about 11, and settled in at a table with books holding the archives of
Vogue from the '80's. If I ever doubted the power of advertising and/or the media, I don't any longer. I remembered every shot. Every one. I suddenly wondered if I had spent hours and days reading each issue when I was growing up. Not that it wasn't a happy pursuit, but still. Boy, did it bring lots back. And it opened up a whole aspect of the novel that I hadn't even thought about. I love when that happens, and have always believed that that is one of the most important parts of research is seeing a direction I need to go that I didn't realize I did. I even found a tiny little piece, literally 3 paragraphs about a law in Louisiana that completely pertains to my book. What are the odds of that?? It was a strange feeling to sit there perched above 42nd street in the city of my childhood dreams holding (albeit a different copy, but) an issue of Vogue that I had read as a teenager and to see the same images now that I saw then, and to have so many different reactions to them now. And friends from my life now that were in there back then when I had no idea who they were. Like an essay by Eve Babitz, a wonderful LA writer who I adore. It was an amazing meander down lots of different lanes.
Then, no surprise, I was famished. So I went to the famous and fabulous Condé Nast cafeteria. It reminded me a bit of the Warner Brothers' commissary, but East Coast style.
Here's my lunch:
I didn't get a picture of the two chocolate cookies I got, but they were really yummy, too. Then I went back to the library, and got on their computers for a bit to look at archives of the New Yorker from before Condé Nast bought it.
And I impressed myself that I was able to figure out the system, even though it was on a PC. - Elizabeth and Maggi and Dan, did you hear that??? ;) -
Then I had to run home as I was about to turn into a pumpkin - i.e. a mom. And to be honest, I was happy to get home, kick off my boots, and see my boys. We played tigers at the zoo. My bed was their cage, and I was the zoo keeper - I refuse to see this metaphorically! I fed them tasty treats, and kept the baby tiger from trying to get out of the cage. We all had great fun.
And, no, Anna Wintour was never in sight.


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