Mad Men and the City: Maidenform
A dolled-up Peggy uses her feminine wiles at the Tom Tom Club, which is said to be at 44th Street and Eighth Avenue.
Peggy lives in Prospect Park? And Pete's family summers on Fishers Island? Real estate (and an ancient Rough Rider) are among the highlights from this week's "Mad Men and the City," Urbanite's look at the show's references to people, places and things in the tri-state area. While not teeming with NYC goodies this week, the episode, "Maidenform," does not disappoint. As always, let us know about your observations.
* Prospect Park -- Brooklynite Peggy Olson tells former paramour and father of her child Pete Campbell that she lives in Brooklyn, Prospect Park to be exact. A few issues come up here:
1.) Of course, nobody lives in Prospect Park. You might say you live "on" Prospect Park, but certainly not in it, unless you are homeless. 2.) In 1962, a young professional such as Peggy would likely not be living in the neighborhoods around the park, including Park Slope. At that point, gentrification was well under way in Brooklyn Heights, a more plausible neighborhood for Peggy to call home, but neighborhoods such as Park Slope were not yet meccas for young professionals. One possibility: Since her family is from Bay Ridge, and she's a lifelong Brooklynite, she may have known her way around the park neighborhoods better than a Manhattanite seeking cheap rent. Any thoughts?* Rough Riders -- The scene at the country-club affair features a hilarious moment involving a living, breathing Rough Rider. The emcee at the fashion show points out the ancient veteran, dressed in his uniform no less! The Rough Riders, of course, charged to battle against the Spanish in Cuba, led by New York's very own Teddy Roosevelt way back in 1898. So by 1962, a living Rough Rider was quite a sight. Rough Riders fans will be happy to know that there's a special place in New York where they can indulge their curiosity on these soldiers as well as Teddy Roosevelt. A brownstone on East 20th Street replicates the boyhood home of Theodore Roosevelt. (The original was foolishly demolished.) It contains well-curated displays, original family artifacts and National Park Service rangers who know their stuff cold.
* Fishers Island -- For at least the second time in the show's run, we hear that Pete Campbell's family has a house out on Fishers Island. Where is this place? It's a small island north of Long Island's North Fork. Even though it's closer to Connecticut than Long Island, it's considered a part of New York state. The Campbells would feel right at home there: It teems with blue-blooded families with impressive manses and country clubs.
* Tom Tom Club -- The guys from Playtex take the Mad Men crew out for a night of drinks and carousing at the Tom Tom Club. which is said to be at 44th Street and Eighth Avenue. For those with long memories, does anyone know if a club by such a name existed there? When we think of that intersection, we think of Smith's, which has been there for what seems forever.
Odds & Ends
Other pop-culture references included J&B Scotch Whisky, (which Pete serves at his Memorial day barbecue), the war between Playtex and Maidenform women's undergarments, Clearasil (the account Pete's father-in-law helped snag for Sterling and Cooper), and the release of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. We also notice that a huge bag of Utz Potato Chips, the sponsor of Grin and Barrett, is in the Draper kitchen ... nice touch.
-- Rolando Pujol
Must-read "Mad Men" blogs:
Basket of Kisses
Television Without Pity forum
Scenes from the episode: