Other MTV staffers have been able to blog about “Gossip Girl” as it relates to their own fancy-pants experiences as New York high schoolers. I always considered it a show set in an alternate universe my decidedly middle-class self would likely never cross paths with in real life. Until last night.
That mysterious, marble mansion where Chuck Bass met the girl of his dreams who turned out to be a sort-of high-class escort for an evil secret society? That’s the site of my former career as a cater waiter. I used to bartend in the very place we’ll now know as “the Chuck Bass version of Narnia.” (I once served Martha Stewart a grapefruit juice there!) I gave Joan Rivers a slice of cake in the library where the masked nanny seduced “the wrong Mr. Bass.” And I passed tuna tartar and pigs in a blanket to wedding guests in the hallway where Chuck unwittingly rubbed shoulders with the most powerful men in the world. That house (at 2 E. 63rd St., in case you’re interested) used to be the home of the New York Academy of Sciences, but its beautiful Mediterranean decor made it an ideal party venue too. And by the way, according to the New York Times, Chuck could probably buy the place for a song these days.
OK, so obviously, in a city that’s constantly the subject of TV shows and movies, this happens all the time. But this odd clash of worlds reminded me of a secret I have to share with all of you aspiring young stargazers: Aside from becoming an entertainment journo, the hands-down best way to meet celebrities at your work is to be a) a waiter or b) a juice/ coffee bar employee. In my short time as either of those, I served the likes of Tom Hanks, Matthew Broderick, Beyoncé, Ben Stiller and Spike Lee. My husband used to make smoothies for Gwyneth Paltrow, Beck, Chris Rock, the Beastie Boys and just about every model employed by Ford. Pouring cocktails and picking up half-chewed hors d’oeuvres may not be the ambitious person’s path to fame, but it’s certainly the lazy girl’s path to famous people. Sure beats being a “nanny” like Chuck’s friend Elle.