My first look at Beverly Hills was on a bicycle ride with my new roommate at UCLA – a girl from Manhattan. She was sophisticated. I was not. We rode up Wilshire Boulevard and ended up at a stretch of stores which begin with Saks and end – roughly – at Neiman Marcus. I remember she looked around and mused – Where is everybody? It wasn’t until years later – when I walked down a jammed 5th Avenue in New York City that I realized what all the incredulity was about. Yea. The Beverly Hills shopping artery doesn’t jam up with people like the one in Manhattan. And I thought of that bike ride when I picked up Shopgirl because I knew it would take me back there. And it did. Steve Martin dives right into the retail scene in Beverly Hills in Shopgirl – revealing what might go on inside the stores and – and more specifically – inside the mind of one of the shop girls. It’s a cool little read.
The novel, Shopgirl, points you in a good direction when it comes to exploring Beverley Hills. You’ll head into Saks Fifth Avenue to check out the store where Steve Martin set his little novel. You’ll move on to Neiman’s and Prada and Theodore. Then you’ll put your shopping day on pause to enjoy a little lunch at the cafe I’m pretty sure Martin was talking about when he sent his shop girl to the Time Clock Cafe. You’ll continue up to Robertson Boulevard where you’ll walk from one art gallery to the next. Then, you’ll end the day with cocktails and dinner at Cha Cha Cha – the hip spot where Martin’s main characters got to know each other.
Oil! Points of Interest
In Real Life: