amNY’s Urbanite does a nice rundown of 60s-New York-specific references in the most recent episode of “Mad Men.”
Among the details Urbanite lists: mention of the BMT (no one says that, or IRT or IND either, when referring to subway lines anymore, though they apparently did when Hair was on Broadway); Lutece (which closed in 2004, as management sighed, “We probably made a wrong turn a couple of years ago when we decided to make this menu edgy and more modern”); a knock-off of a Princess Phone (which, Urbanite astutely noted, would not have been allowed by NYTel); and the Pierre Hotel (which is not what it was: “Hotel rooms are currently under renovation, but banquet and meeting rooms are available for use”).
This obsessive level of interest pleases Runnin’ Scared, which has for some time been pulling for Kennedy-era New York to come up in the nostalgia rotation. In the late 60s, of course, they weren’t doing nostalgia, except for far more bygone eras, and the 70s were all about the 50s. Thereafter time sped up, each decade seeming to impatiently bite the previous decade-or-so, and we have been gritting our teeth in anticipation of the expected grunge revival.
Maybe the popularity of “Mad Men” will guide a new generation of trend-followers toward the pleasures of Ross Hunter, Steve Allen, Baked Alaska, Beyond the Fringe, pep pills, and Miltown. We hope so. Because you know what comes after that: Groovy Revolution!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 18, 2008