When Amazon announced its first ever Maisel day, I was intrigued. In a day, August 15, fans of "Wonderful Mrs. Maisel" and Angelenos (fangelenos?) Could look for a variety of restaurants, theaters and vendors across Los Angeles for special offers, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $ 2.50 a makeover, $ 0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $ 0.30 a liter of gasoline.
The months leading up to the Emmy Awards are packed with FYC and promotional events. But if you keep the occasional green juice job, no one has talked directly to one of my favorite past American times: getting in line – and risking late-'90s Tickle Me Elmo -hoperspers-on-Black-Friday physical damage levels – for good job.
And so, with a schedule in hand, working knowledge (and stamina) for L.A. traffic, and the barge of Midge Maisel itself, I set off for Maisel Day. The plan was to get as much human and traffic data as possible, though if I killed three times, I would consider it a success. Here's how it went.
Deal: $ 2 for "Mrs. Maisel" inspired look at Drybar
Waiting time: 30 minutes
My first stop is at the Drybar location in Tony Brentwood. I join a handful of 20-somethings – mostly UCLA students – who are on the line since 6 p.m. No one has an appointment, as we assume they only take "walks" on the site (later confirmed by a paper map provided to us by the Maisel clone – more on them later). This seems to be outdated information; meetings had to be booked in advance. When the doors open at 7am, we are generally turned away. A day for a senseless start, for both me and my sad, now-not-Maisel hair.
Deal: $ 2.50 for an all-night makeover in Blushington
Waiting time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
I go past Blushington in exchange for a service that usually costs $ 60. But before I could do that, I spent half an hour driving around a four-block radius trying to find better parking. Street cleaning is close by 8am to 10am on Thursday morning, so I have to deal with the final parking: either park far on the street cleaning block and get in line late, or find a parking meter where I can stay just an hour because parking is a sport you will always lose. I'll go for the first option.
I harmonize with the same ladies who distracted me at Drybar. Maybe Maisel Day is really all about the friends you get along the way. The vibe is cozy and hearty. There are moms with their young daughters and more than a few designer bags that are being pulled, which reminds me of the proverb my mom used to say to me: “Rich people love free sh.” Or something like that. After more than an hour of waiting, I sit on my makeup that lasts about 20 minutes.
Deal: $ 0.30 per gallon to 20 gallons at Chevron in Santa Monica
Waiting time: I'm still waiting
Up to this point Variety intern Anna joined me. Our next stop is what many would like raison d & # 39; four on Maisel Day: super low gas. The location of the station – right next to the main highway exit – made it perhaps one of the worst places on that side of town to hold a promotion, so I don't expect to get fuel.
And we don't have Police blocking the streets and traffic would get so terrible on West Highway 10, the promotion would be close early.
Deal: Miltedkes of $ 0.30 ice cream in a coffee shop in the 50's
Waiting time: 30 minutes
Café 50's is exactly what it sounds like: A nice American-style dining table. There is not much order when we place our orders for one strawberry and one vanilla milk cake. At this point, I think I need to explain who I affectionately call "Maisel Clones". They are extremely photogenic promotional models in bright pink T-shirts and A-line dresses that share folders and plastic mini-toilet plungers at every stop. All day long, I will hear them explain to brown customers that they "don't really work [fill in the blank place], "And they're just busy for the day. One asks me to tag her on Instagram (I don't have one). End of explanation Maisel Clones.
We wait half an hour for earthquakes, long enough to see a young woman in glasses and hiking sandals complaining that they wait too long for their order; an older Caucasian man in a Hawaiian shirt and boasts the most beautiful dreadlock (singular) I've ever seen him put in for vanilla. Say what you will, there is more variety on Maisel Day than is the case with the actual show, and I'm here for that.
Time: 11:09 a.m.
Deal: $ 0.99 Maisel Pastrami Sandwich at Canter's Deli
Waiting time: 25 minutes
This is probably my favorite stop of the day, not only because I love Canter & # 39; s, but also because the waitress seems to be down to science. The lunch service line is moving fast. We listen to a gentleman who looks nothing like Ronnie from the Jersey Shore, excitedly talking about his "pastrami and, like, three beers." Another young woman tries to explain to a male companion the importance of sharing in the show "because the family is Jewish, and she is doing well." She seems to have trouble understanding, so, annoyed, she just stops. The table behind us asks if there is a vegetarian option (none). L.A., never change.
Deal: $ 0.59 Pink & # 39; s hotdogs
Waiting time: N / A
We quickly turn Pink to check the line, which looks like … Pink any other day, minus the Maisel clones. It's moving on.
Deal: $ 0.50 croissant at Dominique Ansel Bakery and $ 0.25 macaroni from Laduree, both in Grove
Waiting time: 3 minutes *
People love to hate Grove, an outdoor mall. He once described the New York Times as a place where "only your money is not converted. "These people are wrong. Not only is there a trolley system that can move you, like a hundred yards, from one end of the mall, there is also a Nordstrom with an extremely clean (ish) bathroom, pretty nice Wetzel pretzels and one of the last Barnes and royalty there. Unfortunately, when we get there, what's up no in fact, the deals we are looking for: The bakery is sold out at a discount croissant, and there is no longer a 25-cent macaron in Laduree. Bummer. An elderly woman beats a bakery employee for "wasting time because the flyer said she would be on the program by 7pm." I just sigh and make my way to Starbucks on the third floor of Barnes & Noble to buy a bottle of water as I go through heat wave, and I'm pretty sure my light color is a combination of dehydration, milk shakes and pastrami.
* How much wait was there at Barnes & Noble
Deal: $ 1 tickets at the Hollywood Improv
Waiting time: 0 minutes
We move slowly to the box office at Hollywood Improve and get two $ 1 tickets for the show later that evening. The woman who issues our tickets explains that although they only cost one dollar each, we will be required to have a minimum of two drinks after we enter, a fine print that looks so fine, I can't find it on the site either. Maybe my eyesight is bad.
Deal: $ 40 for a one-night stay at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Waiting time: N / A
We are approaching two Maisel Clones standing in front of the entrance to the hotel, quickly offering us tickets. When I was in line for Blushington earlier in the day, I met two ladies who I would call marine biologist no. 1 and marine biologist no. 2. marine biologist no. 1 ended up with a guarantee on the Blushington line to try and get a room at the hotel before they sold out, only to later call Marine biologist no. 2 and said the line was wrapped around the block and could not find parking and going to work. Promotional models inform us that the rooms have been sold out since 9:30 and have diverted everything to Canter's and Pink because those places still had, uh, inventory. Later, a hotel source tells me that people started camping at 3:00 in the morning.
Deal: $ 2 Manicures at Bellacures
Waiting time: 4 hours (but also n / a)
Due to labor laws, etc. I drop off my internship at the office and head back across town. The goal is to top up my $ 2 manicure (?) Day. It's just that I'm not, because the receptionist tells me the wait is between three and four hours, I can't get on the list, and people have been waiting almost all day. One such person is Diana, a hardcore "Maisel" (but mostly Zachary Levi) fan who took her days off to Studio City to western Hollywood and, eventually, to Santa Monica for a deal. She waited four hours to get a manicure, and a group of waiting women, some with small children, did the same. No one I talk to has departure plans; they are in it to beat him. And I tip them my pill hat. I'm starting to think about what all this says about inequality in America, who benefits from consumer-driven promotions like Maisel Day, how, as one colleague says, it all costs "1 / 1000th of Bezos." spiral until I realize I am. Also. Only. Tired. A "wonderful" day is not, but mostly it's OK.