First, let's examine the cover:
So, Mary Anne looks all touristy, and that makes sense. And Kristy's wearing that lameass touristy Statue of Liberty thing. But, seriously? Claud and Stacey (remember, the sophisticated ones) are wearing Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts. Stacey, the New York girl. I'm sorry, but I really doubt it. And, confession time, I was totally obsessed with the black tights/cuffed jean shorts combo. Very Brenda Walsh.
Okay, so the plot of this one...SMS is on another (mysterious) two week vacation. Claud and Mal get permission to take a two week art class in New York, and all the BSC get to go, too. Because Mr. McGill and Laine's parents are insane.
Mary Ann and Stacey: Because they can't get enough of children, they get hired to show two little Brit brats around the city for two weeks. And they're being followed! And they think it's some sort of international intrigue! But it's really the kids' bodyguard! Um, exciting?
Jessi: She falls in luv with a boy ballet dancer named Quint. Only, he doesn't want to audition for Julliard cause the boys in the neighborhood pick on him. Or something.
Kristy: She finds a stray dog that reminds her of her dead dog Louie. She wants to bring him home to Stoneybrook, but she's not allowed. So, she finds a new home for him. (Boring.)
Dawn: She's a fucking chickenshit. She's afraid of everything. (And, I know I've said this before, but she's from SoCal, not Bumfuck, Montana.) Then she meets a boy on crutches, and he shows her the city and gets her to eat chocolate.
Claud and Mal: So, their art teacher, McKenzie Clarke, gets along great with Mal and constantly criticizes Claudia. She's all hurt and thinks she has no talent. (Heh.) But finally, she talks to him, and he's on her ass cause she lacks discipline and without discipline, her talent will go to waste. And Mal learns she doesn't have what it takes to be an artist, but she only wants to draw dippy shit for children's books anyway.
- So, Claudia, before her classes start, keeps referring to teacher/artist McKenzie Clark as HIM.
- "Stacey would be packing black leggings (some with stirrups on the feet, some without) and baggy black and white and red tops. She would probably pack or wear her black cowboy boots."
- Mary Anne brought Tigger to the train station in a carrier so she could say goodbye to him. Dumbass.
- Oh, and there's this whole thing about all the BSC parents all worried about roaches. Sometimes, I think ANM confuses Stoneybrook with the tiniest town in Iowa or something...They live, like, two hours (tops) from NYC by train. And that's probably with lots of stops. They are not out in the sticks...
- I miss street vendors and truck food. I used to get the best Thai fried rice from a truck outside Hillman Library. Mmmm. [drooling]
- "I was beside myself with the thought of actually staying in the Dakota for two whole weeks. The old movie Rosemary's Baby was filmed there. Famous people live there. Famous people have died there, too." But we won't mention them by name. ANM always mentions weird children's books that no one born after 1968 would have read, but she won't mention John Lennon, despite the fact that VH1 used to play "Imagine" in the 80s more than I can even tell...And how many of our parents were obsessed with the Beatles or their solo stuff? Plus, in the 80s? Julian Lennon had a fucking hit single. Whatever.
- So, the Brit brats? (Not actually bratty, but I like alliteration. So sue me. It's "creative license" or something.) Their parents dress them like dolls. It's totally lame. But hilarious. "Alistaire [who's 7, btw] was wearing a white sailor suit with navy blue trim, white knee socks, and black shoes that buckled at the sides. The looked a little like Mary Janes, only they weren't shiny. [Huh? Mary Janes don't have to be patent leather...I don't get it...] And Rowena was wearing a white sailor dress, similar to Alistaire's suit, white tights, red Mary Janes, and a red hat." In ANM's mind, Brits always dress like it's the 1940s.
- Shut up about the crime, Dawn. You act like there's no violence in SoCal at all. She automatically thinks a loud bang is a car bomb. What? She's not from a warzone, either.
- Stacey loves signaling the waiter for the check. Cause she's 5.
- Because the acronym for the Fine Arts League of New York is FALNY, ANM spells it Falny. Because you can't pronounce an acronym like a real word if it's all caps or something...Sorry, I get a little fixated on semantics. In case you couldn't tell.
- Claudia's not allowed to call adults by their first name unless she knows them really well. I suppose parents who forbid Nancy Drew would have a rule like that.
- Jessi thinks Quint's name is romantic. I...don't get it.
- Oh, yeah...ANM's dad did "Claudia's" sketches for the book.
- Oiny. Only in New York. Jessi's dad says that. And this book ruined me so that whenever anyone says only in New York, I think Oiny. Fuckers.
- There's this whole thing about sneaking the dog in and out of the Dakota because Kristy thinks they don't allow pets in the building. It's supposed to be zany, I think, but it's just lame.
- Dawn's luv interest? "His hair was brown and longish. He'd let the back grow into a very chilly little tail. And when he smiled, his cheeks dimpled." Hee! A tail! And a really awkward sentence about dimples!
- Um, Jessi just agrees to go over Quint's place...I doubt her parents let her just go over random boys' houses in the 'Brook, so why she thinks it's okay in New York? But then, they left her to care for her siblings with no adult supervision for a fucking weekend, so I guess I'm not terribly surprised she has no common sense with this sort of thing. And she gets kinda bent out of shape when Laine insists on walking her there and meeting his family.
- This is what the Brits have the brats wear on their Circle Line cruise: "Alistaire in gray pants, red suspenders, a red bow tie, and a white shirt; Rowena in a gray skirt, red suspenders, a red headband, and a white blouse." You know, I don't think my parents tried to color coordinate me and my bro even in family portraits.
- Actually, a ten dollar fee for a pay-what-you-can vet clinic is pretty cheap.
- "Right here. On Madison Avenue. One of the finest shopping streets in the city. Here you will find Laura Ashley [hee!] clothes, cowboy boots, boutiques, and bookstores. It's the soup to nuts of the shopping world." Dawn, I have some bad news. Your boy's a friend of Dorothy. Straight boys don't know Laura Ashley. Just sayin.'
- Later, Dawn gets all excited by (another) Laura Ashley store in the South Street Seaport. Again, nothing says "California Casual" like middle-aged, stuffy floral prints.
- In college & grad school, whenever I came across the word "cloisters" or "cloistered," I remembered this book. Kinda sad, I know.
- So, Kristy's a closeted rich bitch. "I looked around the Leeches' [they adopt the stupid dog] apartment. It was small. The furniture was old and worn. But someone had crocheted afghans for the couch, and dried flowers were arranged in vases. Plus, Mr. Leech obviously cared very much for his son..." All I'm saying is, how nice was their furniture before Watson, anyway? Single mom with four kids? C'mon now.
- Mal comes up with this stupid kids' story about country mouses visiting the big city. And the girl mouse? "I gave her a hip mouse outfit--a huge sweat shirt and leggings. But I had to erase the leggings. They were not meant for mouse legs [OR HUMAN LEGS, DAMMIT!!!!]. I gave her high-tops instead. And some jewelry." And there's something about an evil gnome. I used to have a recurring nightmare about being chased by an evil gnome. Maybe this book is why...Hmm...
- Mal and her art teacher keep talking about kids' books.
- Jessi's in training to be a nagger. [heh.]
- "I'm sure Quint's parents thought we were going to tell them we wanted to get married, or something equally serious." Yes, I'm sure that's what they thought about an eleven-year-old and a fourteen-year-old (or however old he is). Jessi's not always this stupid, is she? Well, she gets kissed anyway. Her first kiss. Blah.
- When does "Firday" fall in the week, Claudia?
- Blah, Tavern on the Green and a show...I've seen all this on reality tv.
- Hmm...the Pikes have a computer.
- Claudia would be proud (or should I say prowed?):
Deer Mary Ann and Stacy,
We are back in Englund. It is nice. I licked New Yurk. I rememberized the names of your freinds. Rowena licked the toy store.
Well, that's that. Can I lick a toy store, too?