Former Madison Ave. Retail Queen here
I used to work in a small boutique on Madison Ave, and looking back on it, I am amazed at the number of legends and celebs who I ended up helping.
Barbara Walters, Bette Midler, Shirley MacLaine, Yoko Ono, Julie Andrews, Liza Minelli, Natalie Cole, Roberta Flack, Lee Radziwill, Caroline Kennedy, Anita Baker, Joy Behar, Jane Paulie, Anette Bening, Joan Didion, Ina Garten, Amy Poehler, Paula Zahn, Ed Rusha, Tracey Ulman, Lou Reed, Tea Leoni, David Duchovny, Donna Karan, Pierce Brosnan, Kathy Bates and others I am sure I have forgotten.
Interesting stories, each one, some cold some disarmingly sweet. Any questions?
|by Anonymous||reply 67||01/26/2013|
Who differed most from their public image?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||01/19/2013|
They have "marital aid" stores on Madison Ave.?
|by Anonymous||reply 2||01/19/2013|
Bette Midler was the cold one, lacking any sense of humor about herself. That is the one person I would say differed most from their public "onstage" image.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||01/19/2013|
Who was surprisingly nice?
|by Anonymous||reply 4||01/19/2013|
How was Joan Didion? Icy and barely functional?
|by Anonymous||reply 5||01/19/2013|
Was Jane Pauley a nut job? She started acting a little ... off well before she revealed she was bipolar.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||01/19/2013|
Yes R5, extremely frail as well. I think she came in the store when she was writing The Year Magical Thinking. So I am sure she wasn't in the best place.
Liza Minelli is the one who is disarmingly sweet. She is exactly what you would expect, and very unguarded. She came in a lot since she lives just over on 68th st. I remember when she was filming SATC she came in and told us about it, giving away the entire plot and her Single Ladies routine. She actually performed the choreography right there in the store, two feet away from me. I was like, "You have to be fucking kidding me, Liza Minelli is performing right in front of me." Very cool lady and as scattered as you would expect. Her assistant is as down to earth as you can imagine and a hockey mom. Liza would hold the door for the UPS man. She is as real as you can get, not a show.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||01/19/2013|
R7, sex on a stick. Sexy, smoldering, long-limbed duded. I was looking for the VPL for sure. He would sit on the bench in the store, arms thrown over the back and legs swinging wide open. My lesbian manager even had a crush on him and of course Tea as well, who is exceedingly butch. Tea would ask my manager for advice and my manager would practically get panic attacks because she was so into her.
Jane Pauley seemed even-keeled for the most part. She was only in the once.
Annette would get mom of the year award.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||01/19/2013|
Did any of them shit in the changing room?
|by Anonymous||reply 10||01/19/2013|
I'm curious about Anita Baker and Amy Poehler. I'm sure Lou Reed was horrible.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||01/19/2013|
OP, spill on the people who were not so nice.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||01/19/2013|
Guess he had to go to bed. More tomorrow OP, this is fun.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||01/19/2013|
[quote]I'm curious about Anita Baker and Amy Poehler. I'm sure Lou Reed was horrible.
This is exactly what I was going to say.
My prediction. Anita and Lou = total cunts. Amy = lovely.
(crossing my fingers)
|by Anonymous||reply 15||01/19/2013|
[quote]Did any of them shit in the changing room?
I bet Julie Andrews did.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||01/19/2013|
Was Anita Baker's credit card declined?
|by Anonymous||reply 17||01/20/2013|
Did it . . . take Caroline Kennedy, um, an unusually long, er, time to--you know, say what she, um, wanted?
|by Anonymous||reply 18||01/20/2013|
Did any of the celebrities speak to the staff through their assistants? As in they refused to converse with the staff themselves.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||01/20/2013|
Did any of them act like cunts? or just cuntish?
|by Anonymous||reply 20||01/20/2013|
Did Yoko Ono ullulate horrible sounds?
|by Anonymous||reply 21||01/20/2013|
Anita Baker was actually nice, she just popped in for a second looking for directions. I posted my story about her in the Anita Baker thread a while back. She came in looking for directions and was very unassuming and apologized because she wasn't a New Yorker and didn't know her way around.
Lou Reed as cool too. Small feet for a guy (around size 8). So you know I worked in a shoe store now. Funny enough I had sold him something at another store years earlier, so it was nice to see him again.
No one was a real monster, although as you can imagine Barbara Walters was a cold one. Not mean, just standoffish and didn't like people approaching her. Very sweet to her assistant though and her daughter. Anything her daughter wanted she would get her two. Same for her assistant, this black woman who was just about her age and has been with her close to 40 years if not more.
Yoko Ono's driver used to shop for her sometimes. He would take stuff out to the car and she would role the window down and decide if she wanted it. That was the same guy who tried to extort her and was fired and deported. He was kind of a sexy eastern-european daddy. Was sad to see him go. But Yoko, again, down to earth, shopping through the sales wrack with everyone else. If you had a white shoe, Yoko was down for it.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||01/20/2013|
Was Caroline Kennedy as big of a bitch as she seems? Was Amy Poehler funny?
|by Anonymous||reply 23||01/20/2013|
R22, that is hilarious about Yoko
|by Anonymous||reply 24||01/20/2013|
more about bette midler please... was she nasty or just aloof?
|by Anonymous||reply 25||01/20/2013|
OP dropped more names in the original post than Charlie has dropped all year.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||01/20/2013|
Yes R26, but at least the OP isn't insufferable about it
Did Yoko wear gloves?
|by Anonymous||reply 27||01/20/2013|
Who was the biggest spender? Who was the cheapest?
|by Anonymous||reply 28||01/20/2013|
Which one would you have called "cuntastic"?
|by Anonymous||reply 29||01/20/2013|
I met Liza Minnelli briefly a couple of times and my story is the same as the OP's. She's a lovely woman with no bullshit "star" persona at all. She treats everyone equally and with kindness.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||01/20/2013|
Yeah...but did they shit in the changing rooms?
|by Anonymous||reply 31||01/20/2013|
[Did Yoko wear gloves?]
Only during the full body cavity search she gave OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||01/20/2013|
Another request for Amy Poehler details.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||01/20/2013|
Roberta Flak was the cheapest just because I think she had the least money of all. She wears this ratty blond weave or wig all the time and can look a bit homeless. I remember her raving about some gigs she got in Europe that were paying her well.
Yoko Ono is another cool lady, down to earth. Didn't talk though, but was no big diva either.
Barbara Walters could spend a lot. You got the feeling she has a lot of money. She would drop a couple of thousand, no problem. For our little store that was big. For that matter Liza dropped a lot of money too.
Amy Poehler was in for a quick second. This is when she was pregnant the first time, and her feet were too swollen, as she said, to be trying on shoes.
Bette Midler was just aloof, and didn't seem to want to be engaged on any level. Just get me what I asked for type of attitude.
Julie Andrews was a doll. And Shirley Maclaine was as kooky and fun as you can imagine. They would both tie in a Big Head Contest. Huge heads on both of the ladies. I am talking skull size. Shirley would come in with her dogs that she wrote about. One day she came in with her dogs, a gay, and these shoes with springs on them, if you can imagine that.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||01/21/2013|
Natalie Cole's eyes are stunning. She is a tall beautiful woman too. This was before her illness, just really pretty.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||01/21/2013|
I smell a big ole pile of "Hey, Look At Me! I'm Sandra Dee!", pile of BULLSHIT here.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||01/21/2013|
Is it true that Bette Midler only talks to strangers through her "staff"? And that she HATES the gays for "ruining her career"? And that her biggest cashcow are re-runs of Beaches?
|by Anonymous||reply 38||01/21/2013|
How could the gays "ruin" Bette's career? She wouldn't have a career without gay men.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||01/21/2013|
Bette Midler is a nasty cunt. She thinks the gays ruined her career by not allowing her to become more "mainstream". As if... she only has us so bitch better learn some RESPECT.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||01/22/2013|
Love OP! Love that Liza is so sweet. Glad it's not an act.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||01/22/2013|
R26, I could have because most of my dropping comes from working in a similar fancy store years ago near Mad Ave where practically every celebrity of the day shopped and some I got to know quite well.
Milder never came in. Only time I ever saw her was returning from the Fire Island Pines where she was tending her brother quite tenderly on the boat.
I had the same experiences with Yoko and Bahbawa and Liza. Never met Caroline but got to know her mother and Bunny Mellon quite well!
Also lots more men on my list!
|by Anonymous||reply 44||01/22/2013|
[quote]How could the gays "ruin" Bette's career? She wouldn't have a career without gay men.
She's so associated with being a gay icon, a camp joke, in the public's mind that she isn't taken seriously as an artist. She hates that.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||01/22/2013|
Who were the other men?
Did anyone ping?
Who had nice feet? Did you work in a store with dressing rooms and potential for shirtlesness?
|by Anonymous||reply 46||01/22/2013|
Dish, charlie, dish!
Who were your favorite male celeb clients??
|by Anonymous||reply 47||01/22/2013|
Was Ina wearing one of her trademark shents?
|by Anonymous||reply 49||01/22/2013|
She wore earrings, and caftans!
|by Anonymous||reply 50||01/22/2013|
[quote]She's so associated with being a gay icon, a camp joke, in the public's mind that she isn't taken seriously as an artist. She hates that.
No doubt, she's moved on, if that were true. In NYC, Bette is taken seriously as an environmentalist. She's been doing a great job with the NYRP and that's obviously a major undertaking.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||01/22/2013|
r45, she'd probably hate scrubbing toilets more, which is what she'd be doing if it wasn't for her gay fans.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||01/22/2013|
[quote]Only time I ever saw her was returning from the Fire Island Pines where she was tending her brother quite tenderly on the boat.
I used to hang with people in LA who were in her circle and got invited to go backstage at one of her concerts. The friend who took me was charged with getting her brother (who was mentally and physically challenged) a Video Camera which she was giving him after her show for his birthday. It was clear she adored him. He was a sweet kid. The feeling I came away with was that she was a really nice, normal person. She came over and chatted with me, a nobody, completely intimidating me, but she couldn't have been nicer. I heard her brother passed away, sadly. He was quite young. Don't know if it is true.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||01/22/2013|
Ina was nice. Her feet got too wide for our shoes, so she stopped coming in. Her NYC apartment is actually just down the block from the store, so I would see her passing by all the time. She would wave hello. One of my keepsakes from the job is her address in the Hamptons that she wrote out for me for a delivery. That is her house that they film in.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||01/22/2013|
So she's the barefoot cuntessa because her feet are too wide for shoes. Makes sense.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||01/22/2013|
I'm sure this helped Bette Midler garner a broader fan base uninflected by an overly flamboyant gay public:
|by Anonymous||reply 57||01/23/2013|
Do sell guys' shoes, too?
|by Anonymous||reply 58||01/24/2013|
Did Ina have a flatulence problem? I've heard she has a lil problem with gas.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||01/24/2013|
OP, I would love to hear specific Julie Andrews stories!
|by Anonymous||reply 60||01/24/2013|
Ina never wore panties when she came into our store to try on shoes. She was a big fan of the up-skirt oopsie. Fat rolls, labia folds... same thing.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||01/24/2013|
Julie Andrews was just in one time. I really don't have much to say about her, other than she was a nice lady and had a huge head from what I remember. Same size as Shirley Maclaine's.
There are certain people who can go unnoticed by anyone when they come in and others who stop all conversation. Pierce Brosnan was one who stopped all conversation. He is what you would call dashing. You get used to seeing someone on screen, but when you see them in person, their personae / looks are intensified. He is someone who is attractive onscreen, but aura wise kind of breathtaking in person.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||01/24/2013|
[quote]kind of breathtaking in person.
He indeed took our collective breaths away...but forgot to hold his in.
I'd still do him
|by Anonymous||reply 64||01/25/2013|
I forgot to add Kathleen Turner came in a couple of times. She is one of those people that most people off the street wouldn't recognize. But as soon as she opened her mouth, everyone knew who she was.
She looked like she liked a good drink. She was really puffy, but I assume that was due to medicine for arthritis.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||01/25/2013|