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Your Guide To Living Out The Don Draper Dream
October 30, 2009 3:40 PM   Subscribe

One of the best parts of watching Mad Men is the perfectly recreated world of 1960s New York. Who doesn’t wish they could simply step into their tvs for a moment and experience the romance of sipping a cocktail in an elegant 60s bar? Guest of a Guest put together a list of Mad Men inspired locales, consisting of places that have been around since the 1960s as well as their modern counterparts. Here’s everything you need to know to dress, drink, eat, and live like a character out of Mad Men.
posted by netbros (49 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm starting to feel the same sort of disgust towards Mad Men that people felt towards Twitter, just from the sheer ubiquity of discussion about it.
posted by desjardins at 3:55 PM on October 30, 2009 [21 favorites]


Oooh! Does it give tips on how to up my misogyny and racism to 1960s levels??
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 4:02 PM on October 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


If I live in the Mad Men world I can start smoking again, right? Filterless Camels? please?
posted by From Bklyn at 4:03 PM on October 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Does it give tips on how to up my misogyny and racism to 1960s levels??

Go work at an ad agency. They're as bad now as they were 40-odd years ago, they're just marginally more subtle about it.
posted by dersins at 4:04 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I share your annoyance, desjardins. But it's a little bit better than if there was a Metafilter post about Saved By The Bell or CSI: Miami every week or so.
posted by The World Famous at 4:04 PM on October 30, 2009


Oh okay, where to go to a swanky bar, order a cocktail, and smoke a cigarette in the modern USA?
posted by ovvl at 4:05 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oooh! Does it give tips on how to up my misogyny and racism to 1960s levels??

That's cute, honey. Now go make me a martini.
posted by ryoshu at 4:05 PM on October 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


But it's a little bit better than if there was a Metafilter post about Saved By The Bell or CSI: Miami every week or so.

Looks like someone just made some Men... Mad.

*sunglasses*

YYYYEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

It's actually exactly the same as if someone made a Ice Road Truckers post every week.
posted by GuyZero at 4:07 PM on October 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


Mad Men is the perfectly recreated world of 1960s New York.

Sure it is.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:11 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mad Men is the perfectly recreated world of 1960s New York.

Even shows that were made in New York in the 1960s do not perfectly recreate the world of 1960s New York.
posted by The World Famous at 4:14 PM on October 30, 2009


I, too, do not care about Mad Men. At all. Just adding a data point here.
posted by rusty at 4:14 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The characters on Mad Men aren't even living the dream.
posted by girlmightlive at 4:17 PM on October 30, 2009


Is this something that I'd need a ... never mind.
posted by fixedgear at 4:18 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


the sheer ubiquity of discussion about it.

Its ok so long as we make a pact, here and now, that if the day comes when Sarah Palin does a guest appearance on the show, we will disband Metafilter on the spot and all go our seperate ways. Neither the Internet nor the Universe will be able to handle that comment overload.
posted by mannequito at 4:18 PM on October 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Having grown up on the Left Coast, I never thought I'd hear the words "elegant '60s" used in earnest.* Anyway, I'm not sure what the modern equivalents are supposed to be - if you want a classic business suit, you still go to Brooks Brothers, right? These enduring establishments - virtually institutions - still do what they did 40 years ago because there's a market for certain timeless things like suits and elegant dinners. Sometimes people want the tried-and-true classics.

*Unless you think tie-dye, love beads, and flowing hippie skirts are elegant. YMMV, but we were pretty groovy out here.
posted by Quietgal at 4:21 PM on October 30, 2009


Okay, this post has no explanation of what Mad Men is whatsoever. I only know it supposedly has best parts, and is set in 1960's New York.

On second thought, I don't really want to know what it is.

Fingers in ears: lalalalalalalalalala
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 4:21 PM on October 30, 2009


The producers of Mad Men have definitely figured out something about online (viral?) marketing.

I don't think that there's a site that I frequent that hasn't had a handful of Mad Men posts since the series has started.
posted by davey_darling at 4:25 PM on October 30, 2009


The misogyny in Mad Men makes me never want to wear 60's formal fashions again. I used to like them. At this point I see them and feel ill, very literally.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:26 PM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love watching the show Mad Men. I'm tired of seeing not-really-insightful style articles about it all over the internet, though. That interview with the props guy was pretty rad, though.
posted by zsazsa at 4:26 PM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, the 60s. The decade that saw the assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy as well as Martin Luther King, Jr, while LBJ upped US participation in the Viet Nam war. Any one really want to go back just to smoke a cigarette and sip a martini?
posted by Cranberry at 4:31 PM on October 30, 2009


Have these people even been to the White Horse tavern recently? That place is a total yuppy shit hole.
posted by wcfields at 4:43 PM on October 30, 2009


Go work at an ad agency. They're as bad now as they were 40-odd years ago, they're just marginally more subtle about it.

The last agency I worked at was the most diverse, open minded, merit-based workplace I've encountered in almost 20 years of professional life. Interestingly enough, there were women at the head of the accounts, creative and production departments. Of course that may have been an aberration in the industry, but it probably also explained all of the award-winning work coming out of there.

And the only person who looks like me on Mad Men is the elevator operator.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:45 PM on October 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


I enjoy Mad Men. It's a quality show, no question. What I don't understand is this impulse that I've been seeing in people who want to emulate it.

"Wow, Don Draper is completely miserable. This show really drives home how shallow consumerism and obsession with appearance and status fucks up everyone that it touches. Say, that gives me a great idea for a party!"

Several of the people to whom I've pointed this out have suggested to me that they don't want to actually experience the Mad Men world, but they'd like to copy the look. For what it's worth, I'm not sure that it's possible for an otherwise well-adjusted human being to dress like Joan without becoming Joan.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:48 PM on October 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Mad Men was better when it was set in the '80s and they called it Thirtysomething.
posted by The World Famous at 4:56 PM on October 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


" drink, eat, and live like a character out of Mad Men. "

That's how my grandpa died.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:12 PM on October 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Oyster Bar: Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level.


No.

The Cambell Apartment for business. Oyster Bar for tired suits getting wasted before getting back on the train to Westport
posted by The Whelk at 5:30 PM on October 30, 2009


Perfect except for the anachronistic IBM Selectrics, amirite?
posted by localroger at 5:33 PM on October 30, 2009


Selectrics are anachonistic localroger? 1961 introduction. [plus: obligatory wikipedia link]
posted by artlung at 5:43 PM on October 30, 2009


Selectrics are anachonistic localroger? 1961 introduction. [plus: obligatory wikipedia link]

You apparently have not been following the extensive internet commentary regarding the fact that Mad Men's Selectrics are the later, more square ones that came after the show's time period. Localroger's comment was a joke based on that issue.
posted by The World Famous at 5:51 PM on October 30, 2009


(In fact, the Mad Men issue is discussed in the Wikipedia link.)
posted by The World Famous at 5:53 PM on October 30, 2009


Lord Humongous is an ad man?
posted by maxwelton at 6:15 PM on October 30, 2009


Mad Men: Because fans of The Wire didn't know what to do with their lives.

I love both shows but really now.
posted by Justinian at 6:15 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your favorite racially uniform heteronormative media fantasy sucks.
posted by mistersquid at 6:38 PM on October 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


starting to feel the same sort of disgust towards Mad Men...

I randomly saw Saturday Night Fever when it first opened, playing at a theater near the bus station in Salt Lake City, on a three hour layover. I thought it was pretty fun. Of course I did later have to hate it like everyone else with taste.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:22 PM on October 30, 2009


Sitting tight waiting for MAD to do its parody.......
posted by brujita at 7:31 PM on October 30, 2009


I share your annoyance, desjardins. But it's a little bit better than if there was a Metafilter post about Saved By The Bell or CSI: Miami every week or so.

Is that a challenge? Because if so, I can totally try to do weekly FPP about "Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski -- How Their Love Was the Perfect Symbol of 1990s Faux California Culture Through a 90210 Inspired Lens" or "Slater's Wrestling Sniglet - How Mario Lopez Made Me Know I Was Gay (even if it embarrassed me more than the rest of the closet)"

Seriously, don't dare me or I'll really embarrass myself.

(I'm seriously thinking about the misogyny of the CSI franchises and Saved by the Bell and the 1960s portrayed by Mad Men and wondering which one is right now damaging culture more. I think it's time to take the martini shaker away and step away from the keyboard and towards an actual bar.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:20 PM on October 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is that a challenge? Because if so, I can totally try to do weekly FPP about "Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski...

There's a rule which is "don't game MetaFilter to make a point." Now, I know you're (probably) joking, but I too have had the same reaction (to other posts) and in time have come to decide that this is probably a good rule.
posted by GuyZero at 9:09 PM on October 30, 2009


Other TV, movie and written anachronistic milieus that are awesome like Mad Men:

- Victorian England. No one even has a job! They just all mope around and wonder about Mr Darcy all day!
- The Dark Ages. Everyone's a Knight! You kill dragons and Muslims Heathens and stuff!
- The Old West! Bang bang! Rob a bank! Hey, let's give those natives some blankets!
- Cavemen! They rode on Dinosaurs!
- The Cold War! Oh, wait, same period. Except Don Draper drinks vodka and steals atomic bomb designs
- Being Jonathan Swift. You get to eat Irish babies!
posted by GuyZero at 9:17 PM on October 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


just like potatoes!
posted by edgeways at 9:41 PM on October 30, 2009


Oh man, I had no idea about the period inappropriate Selectric IIs. I should bow out of these period-detail discussions as I'm obviously unqualified. I just dig the show.
posted by artlung at 10:24 PM on October 30, 2009


I am old enough, barely, to remember the early sixties, and observed my parents in that era and talked to them about it afterward. Mad Men does a somewhat good job of recreating it, and does try to portray the casual and reflexive misogyny of the period. Those people who admire the early 60's fashion style now do so from the comfort of our more heterogeneous fashion landscape, where women can wear a short skirt one day, and a longer skirt the next, and no one thinks anything of it. While there are fashions that come and go now, the literal dictatorship of fashion changes has waned, which I think is a good thing, even if some of the later 60's fashions look odd and extreme to us today.

I don't think you can really understand the rigid conformity of those "Mad Men" days unless you lived in that era - where fashion for men varied so little that self expression mostly came down to differing tie patterns, or cuff links. Really, men's business fashion of that era was about as close to being a military uniform as you could get, without actually being a uniform, as there was an extremely narrow range of what was acceptable in terms of the color and cut of suits, the fabrics, the sock color, shirt color (or lack of color), collar shape, the width of ties (let alone what haircuts you could have, sideburn length, being clean shaven, etc., etc..) Here is a post talking about the change in men's fashion in the sixties, sometimes called the "Peacock Revolution".

My mother said that having to wear those stiletto heels of the 50's and early 60's was hell on your feet, and she actually had people damage the kitchen floor with them at one of her parties in that time. They narrowed the width of escalator treads partly because spike heels got stuck in them. (I refuse to even comment about girdles and garter belts.)

I also well remember the fashion crowd trying to ram midi and maxi skirts down women's throats around 1968, and women rebelling, see From mini to maxi. This ushered in the more permissive era of mixed skirt lengths I alluded to above. More on fashion changes of the 60's and 70's.
posted by gudrun at 11:09 PM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


People who talk about how they "just can't understand" how Mad Men fans can love the characters AND be disgusted by their biases are completely missing the point. So are the people who feel obligated to make a big thing about how they "just can't watch it" because of all the sexism and racism. (okay, I get it, you're sooo enlightened) And when I say missing the point, I mean that you're somewhere in midtown right now, and the point just zoomed right over your head and is zipping through flyover country as we speak.

This is the ENTIRE POINT of the show. It's the reason we're so fascinated by it. Yes, the 1960s NYC advertising world was stylish, elegant, and dynamic. It was also horribly sexist, racist, homophobic, and anti-semitic. It was all of these things. It was complex, just like real life. And this is why we love Mad Men. Because it doesn't attempt to hide the complexities -- in rejoices in them. Nearly every scene in Mad Men is elegance juxtaposed with ugliness. It's this subtle complexity that makes the show believable and keeps us coming back for more.

In fact, if there's anything I don't like about the show, it's those few places where it does become sort of a heavy-handed morality play. (I mean really, does Pete really need to be so unapologetically abusive toward his wife? Does Peggy really need to be so completely humorless?) But these moments are few and far between. The quiet agony of Joan Holloway's quashed ambitions, Don Draper's paradoxic embodiment of the American Dream, Betty Draper as the Girl Next Door gone wrong, all of these elements are enough to make up for 1000 scenes of Peggy's boring, lumpy family in Brooklyn. (what was the point of that story arc, anyway?)

And as for the "it's so popular I'm so tired of hearing about it, I'm going to harsh on your buzz" -- well, you pretty much can go to hell. We love the show, and it's here to stay for the time being. Oh god forbid something is actually AND it get attention. We all know that truly good things need to die on the vine and never get the recognition they deserve.

Pfffft. Whatever.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:49 PM on October 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


A few white people will lament the days when they could smoke anywhere, then another white person will say something about cancer and it will get awkward.
posted by benzenedream at 1:33 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Parasite Unseen said:


For what it's worth, I'm not sure that it's possible for an otherwise well-adjusted human being to dress like Joan without becoming Joan.


That statement pretty much sums up modern America. When you want to be like someone else-- copy their clothes, their speech, whatever-- you're going to take on many other attributes you didn't plan for. You can decide to dress and talk a certain way and make it work, but you cannot pick and choose pieces of identity that come from someone else to use on yourself. You will either take on much more of them than you bargained for, or it will appear very fake. In either case, you are copying a 1-2 dimensional character that you would never want to emulate if they were real people. We like our media too much, and people hate us for it even though they do it themselves.

Example: if you're on a bus on your way to a sci-fi convention (no jokes, please) and you're wearing an alien costume you made up, people will think you're a nut, but judge you based on how it looks. But if you're on the bus and you are dressed like something people know, like a Klingon, they're going to hate you.
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 6:34 AM on October 31, 2009


Example: if you're on a bus on your way to a sci-fi convention (no jokes, please) and you're wearing an alien costume you made up, people will think you're a nut, but judge you based on how it looks. But if you're on the bus and you are dressed like something people know, like a Klingon, they're going to hate you.

No, you are a nut either way.
posted by fixedgear at 6:55 AM on October 31, 2009


- Victorian England. No one even has a job! They just all mope around and wonder about Mr Darcy all day!

ITYM "Regency England" here.

In Victorian England, there are cheery sweeps, mail three times a day, and truly amazing facial hair on the men.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:08 AM on October 31, 2009


Mad Men: Because fans of The Wire didn't know what to do with their lives.

Well, I love Mad Men but didn't like The Wire. I quit it about 5 or 10 episodes in as it was just too bleak and depressing and had nothing in there I could relate to. I've never liked cops & court drama anyway. Mad Men is different altogether.
posted by crapmatic at 12:53 PM on October 31, 2009


"Who doesn’t wish they could simply step into their tvs for a moment and experience the romance of sipping a cocktail in an elegant 60s bar?"

Definitely not me.

Those were misogynistic, racist, socially demeaning days when nobody was allowed to have any of the conversations we all take so for granted these days. There was no casual vocabulary then to describe emotional abuse, dysfunctional family issues. Nobody talked about "having healthy boundaries", there were no socially acceptable ways to talk about living with depression or easily available drugs for it, like Prozac, Zoloft or Welbutrin. Lobotomies were handed out to people with dyslexia, learning disorders or were ADHD. There were no "alternative lifestyles" that were socially acceptable. Brokeback Mountain was a depiction of the brutality inflicted on anyone outside the norm in the early 60's. Psychiatrists diagnosed women (damned them really) as frigid if their sexually inexperienced husbands didn't bring them to orgasm. Those were awful days in countless ways.

But I do love the show to remember the days and life back then in all their miserable, disguised as elegant, detail, feel and savor with profound gratitude the many significant or trivial positive social or practical changes that have occurred since then.
posted by nickyskye at 1:09 PM on October 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


And as for early 60's places in NYC which have the actual ambiance of that era still today, a handful:

44th Street has a couple:
Yale Club
and The Algonquin where the Round table was

Central Park Tennis Courts and riding in Central Park

Sherry Netherland Hotel and Cipriani's

The Oak Room

The Coffee House Club

Barclay's Dancing Classes (ugh!)

Barbetta's


The Rainbow Room

Four Seasons Restaurant


McSorley's
posted by nickyskye at 1:43 PM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


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