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.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
This is either Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass or Agnolo Bronzino's Portrait of a Young Man