Sarah Jessica Parker Gives Me a Guided Tour of the Met. Sort Of.

I'm at the Met, and I'm all ears (except for this other stuff about Gossip Girl)

After this high-toned, erudite conversation, I bid goodbye to Harold and Nancy and make my way to the vast museum shop on the main floor to see if there's anything new. Though I have a soft spot for William—the Egyptian faience hippopotamus that dates from 1981 to 1885 B.C. and is the Met's mascot (he's available inexpensively as a magnet or a tree ornament)—I am otherwise usually disappointed by the store, which favors scarves and jewelry that are invariably too conservative for my taste.

But this season, there's a nice, snug black T-shirt with a trompe l'oeil gold necklace, in honor of the current exhibit of Calder jewelry (I should be looking at that instead of lurking in the gift shop), for $40, which seems a little high for a tee. On the other hand, it's cheaper than the molded-plaster model of the museum building for $595 (also available as bookends for $300). A $20-and-under table holds that unwelcome gift, the dreaded mug, which, although it is printed with shoes, I doubt would satisfy any sex-and-the-city-dwelling gossip girls. I'm about to give up when I spot a modernist silvery card case for $40 that I assume is an homage to Mondrian but turns out to be engraved with a Frank Lloyd Wright design based on a window triptych from the Illinois Avery Coonley Playhouse, circa 1912. It's accessible yet slightly pretentious, alluring but pragmatic—just like Carrie, Serena, and Blair themselves.

lyaeger@villagevoice.com

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