Gossip Girl Walk
Arts & Entertainment
by Cristina Velocci, Time Out New York contributor, 11/06/2009
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) 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) 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), 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!"
For the rest of the Gossip Girl walk and other Great Walks, visit Time Out New York.