Thursday, June 12, 2014

BSC SS #6: New York, New York! Part Two

Part One

It’s been three days since Jessi met Quint, and so far she’s been too chicken to call him. But when she finally works up the courage, he’s thrilled to hear from her, and invites her over to his place to watch old movies. Don’t worry, his mom, brother, and sister will all be there, too. Jessi asks Laine to walk her there, and whatever your feelings on Laine are before or after this, I really appreciate that she takes the sane approach to this. First, she’s not certain that Jessi should go at all, but then she insists that she walk Jessi all the way up to his apartment and meet his family herself, plus having all info written down. I know, I’m not sure how great a thirteen-year-old’s judge of character is, but at least it’s something. Then Jessi asks if Laine’s doing this because she’s eleven, and Laine tells her no, it’s exactly what her parents do for her when she meets someone new. But Jessi still bitches about being treated like a child. Jessi. You’re eleven. You ARE a child.

So Quint and Jessi have a nice afternoon watching a couple of Fred Astaire movies. When they’re done, they take a walk to return the videos. On the street, Jessi gets to see firsthand the teasing Quint regularly gets about doing ballet. She admits it is bad, but says he shouldn’t let anything get in the way of his dancing.

Stacey’s dad takes a very rare afternoon off from work, and takes the BSC, Laine, Alistaire, and Rowena on the Circle Line tour. Mary Anne tries to one-up the actual tour guide, of course, but Stacey tells her to shut up. She still talks quietly to herself, though. Oh, they mention the World Trade Center. Sad. Then Stacey looks up, and sees the man in the hat and sunglasses, and freaks out. She and Mary Anne agree to make sure the kids are never out of their sight. Well, yeah. That’s kind of the point of sitting for them. And they still won’t tell an adult.

Kristy was worried about leaving the dog, which she named Sonny (for Son of Louie), alone all afternoon. And with good reason. When they get back, they find Laine’s mom witting there with Sonny. Oh snap. She says he had to go to the bathroom, and the girls ask how she got past the doorman. Both Laine and her mother are confused. Turns out, pets are allowed in the building, Laine just meant he wasn’t allowed because of her parents. Oh well. Her mom tells Kristy she’s going to have to either find Sonny’s owners or a new home for him. Kristy realizes she’s right, and borrows money to make fliers to put up.

Y’all, Dawn actually leaves the apartment! By her own choosing! Well, a cute guy may have something to do with it, too. Richie gets a walking cast, and is ready to show Dawn his New York. He takes her all over, including Madison Avenue, where he points out you can get Laura Ashley clothes, which I find weird for a thirteen-year-old boy, but ok. They eat tacos from a street vendor, vegetarian for Dawn, and then Richie actually gets her to eat a whole piece of Godiva chocolate. Oh, the horror! But she does say it’s fabulous. Maybe try getting off your high horse and mingling with us plebeians sometimes, Dawn. It’s not so bad.  They do Chelsea, SoHo, the East Village (I don’t know, I think in 1991 it would have scared Dawn), West Village, and Little Italy. They have cappuccinos, and I’m kind of surprised Dawn would let all that caffeine into her body. Dawn says Richie is the best tour guide ever. Mary Anne would be totes jealous.

Mary Anne and Stacey take the kids to the South Street Seaport, and everyone but Claudia and Mal tag along. And of course, there’s the man in the hat and sunglasses again. Stacey is all in on the theory now, and has one of her own. Maybe he wants only one of the kids, because he’s a spy, and might have smuggled microfilm or diamonds in Alistaire’s backpack or something. Yes, these girls are obviously mature enough to have serious responsibility of children. They decide to split up, and see which kid he wants. Mary Anne takes Rowena, and sees him twice. But when they meet back up, Stacey saw him three times. They FINALLY decide to tell the Harringtons, but the housekeeper informs them they’re out, and are taking a few days off, so they won’t need Mary Anne and Stacey for a few days. Well, shit.

Claudia and Mal’s class takes a trip to The Cloisters to sketch. Claudia informs us that medieval means having to do with the Middle Ages, and not halfway evil like she thought. Thank you, Claudia. Claudia does her usual shit, drawing way too fast for Mac’s liking. So she settles down and actually works on a drawing for three and a half hours. On the way back on the bus, Mac asks to look at it, and says this is what he’s been waiting for. He tells her she’s one of the most talented artists he’s ever worked with, but she needs to concentrate and learn some discipline; otherwise her talent will go to waste. I hope actually remembers this. Anyway, she’s feeling all sorts of better. On the way home, Mal admits this kind of serious art isn’t for her and she wants to go back to her illustrations. Claudia apologizes to her, and they’re friends again.

Kristy is stressing. She only has three days left to find Sonny a home. But she gets a call from a little boy named Brandon, who says his parents said he could have a dog, so Kristy takes Sonny over to meet him. I would have wanted to talk to a parent first, to make sure it was really ok, but whatever. He only lives a few blocks away, but Kristy says it’s not as nice as Laine’s block. And then she goes on a bit about his apartment and furniture being a little rundown, but they’ve tried to make it nice. Well, I guess coming from the freaking Dakota and your mansion, regular places just aren’t as nice. It’s not awful, but her judgy attitude here has always bothered me. But anyway, Brandon falls in love with Sonny, and fortunately, his father’s there, so it’s all good. Sonny has a new home, and he gets to keep his name.

Back with Mallory on the trip to the Cloisters. She is bored out of her mind. Except when she starts drawing mice wearing clothes and making up a story for them. But she knows that’s not what Mac wants, so she gets back to the boring shit. On the bus back, she watches Claudia and Mac talk, and she’s nervous for Claud, worried that he’s telling her she sucks. But Claud is so happy afterwards, and tells Mal what he said. Mal realizes he’s never said anything like that to her, so she goes back to the classroom, and asks Mac if she’s talented. He pretty much just tells her no. Not like Claudia. She asks if she’s good enough to do illustrations, and he says maybe. So she’s happy. Now, I know shit about art, but I’m kind of irritated with this kind of snobby attitude that illustrators aren’t real artists or something.

Jessi and Quint see another ballet, Coppélia this time. They go for a soda afterwards, and Jessi pretty much bullies Quint into auditioning for Juilliard. But he says he needs her support when he tells his parents. But, his parents are totally cool with it; they’re proud of him and will stand behind him in whatever he does. And they say the same things that Jessi did about kids teasing him. When Quint and Jessi leave, they realize this will be the last time they see each other before Jessi goes home. So Quint does the smoothest thing an eleven-year-old has ever done. He does the infamous chin-tip, and kisses Jessi. Her first kiss. You suave motherfucker, Quint!

Stacey and Mary Anne finally tell the Harrringtons about the creepy guy following their children. And they’re all, Oh yeah, that’s Bill. Wtf? He’s their bodyguard. Again, wtf? Well, the Harringtons are in the public eye a lot, and they’re very involved in international politics. So they need a bodyguard, but he makes the kids self-conscious, and they wanted them to have a real vacation. So he followed them in disguise. And they didn’t tell the girls because they didn’t want them to freak out and be overprotective. Ummm, no, I think you should have fucking told them. And Bill was behind the balloons switching colors. He replaced them when they were, in fact, stolen.

So they have their last day with Alistaire and Rowena, and Bill. They freaking finally go to F.A.O. Schwartz, which is what the kids have really wanted to do all along. Then they go to Bloomingdales (which I think would be boring for little kids), and then to the Hard Rock Café. They see Bill everywhere, and Stacey can’t help but to wave at him.

For their last night in the city, Laine’s dad sets up a perfect evening for them. First they take a limo to Laine’s favorite stores. Then it’s to dinner at Tavern on the Green. I assume Mr. Cummings is paying for this as well. And then it’s off to a Broadway show, where Claudia spills an entire box of M&Ms on the floor. One lands on a woman’s shoe, and it sends the girls into giggle fits all night long. They sound really annoying. Then it’s back to Laine’s, and Stacey, Claudia, and Dawn have to say goodbye to her, since they’re leaving the next morning.

And so it’s back to little old Stoneybrook. And everyone’s families are there to welcome them back. Claud makes it a point to tells us the Pike triplets made a banner, with the Statue of Liberty on one end and the outline of Connecticut on the other, and tells us their computer must do graphics. Ooooh, fancy. But seriously, how do the Pikes afford that? They were practically destitute a few books ago.

Anyway, then comes the usual flurry of letters. Mal actually writes Laine and her parents to thank them for having the girls. That’s really nice and mature of you, Mal. Quint of course ends up getting into Juilliard. Sonny likes his new home. And Alistaire “licked New Yurk”, while Rowena “licked” the toy store.

o   Speaking of the World Trade Center, I wonder what would have happened if the books had gone on just a year longer. Would it have even been mentioned? It would be strange for Stacey not to talk about it, I think. Would she have a plotline surrounding it, with something dramatic happening to Stacey during 9/11? I don’t know. Interesting to think about.

o   Laura Ashley is mentioned a number of times in the series, but especially in this book. So I decided to look it up, and see if a) it’s still around and b) if it’s changed any. Yes, it still exists, and no, hasn’t really changed. They’re big on this maxi skirt:

So, florals still abound. I bet Ann has one. $74, btw.

o   Alistaire and Rowena are always dressed up, in matching sailor suits and shit. Definitely not play clothes. But they never call them brats like they would with Jenny.

o   ***GAME OF THRONES SPOILER ALERT*** Even though it was weeks ago. Mal says she’s never seen an exploded head, but she can’t imagine it would be pretty. You’re SO right about that, Mal. And I think Mal would get into GoT.

And yes, I just figured out a way to tie the BSC and Game of Thrones together.


  1. Do you know if any post-2001 editions still mention the WTC? I know that some of the books have been updated to include things like cell phones.

    I'll have to ask my sister if she remembers this book, now that she's worked as a nanny (for a British couple even). I wondered why the Harringtons didn't already have a nanny over 18 who could travel. Then I got to the part with the bodyguard. With such poor communication, I bet they go through a lot of nannies.

    1. I have no idea. I would hope they do. I hate when movies take them out. But to each his own.

      I bet they go through a lot, too. For people with such important sounding jobs, you'd think they would have this shit figured out.