SPOTTED: Blake Lively (Serena), Leighton Meester (Blair) and Jessica Szohr (Vanessa) filming new episodes
SPOTTED AGAIN: Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) canoodling (just wanted an excuse to use that word) with real-life girlfriend Jessica Szohr (Vanessa)
Location: The Stanton Social (lower east side)
The first sighting happened during one of my lunch breaks at work (I guess this area is a hot-spot for filming!) I was leisurely strolling down Broadway when I came across the set of Gossip Girl! The director chairs with "Gossip Girl" printed across the back were the big tip-off. There was also a frenzy of 20 something women & teen girls squeezed in behind orange pylons on one side of the sidewalk.
Somehow the street corner I had walked down was relatively empty...yet had the best view of the set! Not quite sure how that one worked out. I scanned the sea of film crew & audio equipment when my eyes landed on Vanessa. She was standing infront of a white canvas screen, rhyming off lines to an imaginary person. The director screamed CUT and she let her body relax as a costumer designer ran over to change her shoes (What a life! Don't even have to un-do your own laces)
I assumed she would try the scene again but I guess I arrived for her last take. I watched as bodyguards whisked her 3 blocks down the street to where the actors trailers awaited. I held back from the mass of girls that followed her. I stood there admiring the set and was heading towards Dean & Deluca when I thought, why not see what all this hullaballoo is about. You're only in New York for a few more weeks! Have I become that unphased by movie sets that I'm satisfied with a quick glimpse..when there's the chance to see so much more? (I assumed these girls knew something I didn't by the way they patiently waited, cameras in hand, for the turn of a doorknob on one of the 4 trailers). I just had a gut feeling there was something else about to happen.
And sure enough - Blair walks out RIGHT INFRONT OF ME! It's funny. I am always so clueless whenever I stumble upon these things, yet I seem to get the best views! There are girls around me who have been waiting for hours upon hours (especially at the Robert Pattinson sets! whew, those girls are NUTS)
As she's walking down the steps she looked me right in the eyes, smiled & then looked out and waved to the crowd. I was right in her view, so its not like she picked me out like a shiny quarter. It hit me then, how average she really is. I mean she's gorgeous, don't get me wrong. But she's just a girl, around my age, with a cool job. Yet here I am, happy that she smiled at me. Funny how that happens.
Then as a group of girls chases her down the street toward the set - I continued heading in the direction of Dean & Deluca. I'd already seen Vanessa & Blair - good enough lunch break for me! Out walks Serena. Again, directly infront of my path.
She gave a little wave and turned her back quickly, her bodyguard shielding her from the crowd. Blair definitely liked the attention a bit more than Serena (funny how its similar in the show!) It could also be that they were late getting to the set so the bodyguard was rushing her down the street.
I got to watch them film the rest of the scene...on the same sidewalk...the lighting guys were standing right beside me. I wonder if in my work outfit they thought I was an extra? There was no one pushing me aside or telling me to leave. It was quite nice. In between takes, Leighton (Blair) and Blake (Serena) would rehearse lines or listen to the directors advice in how to deliver their lines. The film crew explained to me (see how nice they were!) that they'd have to do voice overs for these lines in the studio because of all the background traffic and street noise.
Eventually I had to head back to work before my lunch break finished. It was really fun to be right in on the action like that! Although the show seems to be suffering the same demise as the O.C. did (season 1's a hit...and everything after seems to steadily decline) I think I'll have to start tuning in again to see how it all turns out!
The second spotting happened at The Stanton Social restaurant when my Mom & sister Meredith were visiting. (side note: highly recommend the food at Stanton Social if you're ever in new york! Its tapas-style with dishes to share)
Ed Westwick (Chuck) and Jessica Szohr (Vanessa) were sitting at the booth beside us ! My sister and I only noticed them when we got up to go to the bathroom! When we told me Mom who it was, her response was "Oh, the ELF!" Lets just hope he didn't hear that...
The lighting is very low-lit and the music turns up louder almost on the hour, like clockwork. It gradually becomes more of a lounge. I didn't think of it when I booked the reservation but I guess it is a great place for celebrities to hang out, unbothered.
Ed & Jessica were sitting with a woman, her son, and 2 unidentifiable men. One appeared to be a bodyguard. Perhaps the other were family? Not, quite sure.
My sister & I contemplated interrupting them but they were so far into their booths that a) it would have disturbed their entire group and b) they looked like they just wanted to eat in peace!
We just sat there, finishing our meals, glancing up every now and then to see if they were still there. Chuck sipped on a beer and ran his hands roughly through his shaggy hair about every 5 minutes. At one point, Jessica got up to go to the bathroom and she stopped briefly to say happy birthday to a group of girls who had just finished singing "Happy Birthday" which I thought was pretty nice of her.
I've been really lucky to have such great sightings so far. I hope it continues for my last few weeks! If not, I've already got some great memories. I just love this city.
You know you love me.
X O X O