When Amazon announced its first Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For a day, August 15, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" fan and Angelenos (fangelenos?) Could hit different restaurants, theaters and retailers all over Los Angeles for specials, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $ 2.50 makeovers, $ 0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $ 0.30 for a gallon of gasoline.
The months leading up to the Emmy Awards are many of the FYC and promotional events. But save the occasional deal for green juice, no one has spoken directly to one of my favorite all-American pasts: Getting in a Line – and Risking Late 90s "Tickle Me Elmo" Buyers-in-Black- Friday's levels of bodily harm ̵
So, with a plan in hand, working knowledge of (and perseverance for) L.A. traffic and the boss of Midge Maisel himself, I headed into Maisel Day. The plan was to score as many deals as human and traffic possible, even though I approached three, I would consider it a success. Here's how it went.
Deal: $ 2 for a “Mrs. Maisel-inspired look at Drybar
Waiting time: 30 minutes
My first stop is at a Drybar location in Brentwood. I join a handful of twenty-one meetings – mostly UCLA students – who have been in line since 6am. No one has a deal, because we assume they only take "walk-ins" on the site (and later confirmed by a paper map given to us by a Maisel Clone – more about them later). This is apparently outdated info; agreements had to be "booked in advance." When doors open at 7, we are summarily turned away. An unpleasant start to the day, both for me and for the sad, now my non-Maisel-inspired hair.
Deal: $ 2.50 for a full face makeover at Blushington
Wait time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
I'll walk next door off to Blushington for a makeover, a service that usually costs $ 60. But before I can do that, I spend half an hour driving around a four-block radius to try to find better parking. Street cleaning in the immediate area is Thursday morning from 2 p.m. 08:00 to 10:00, so I have to throw myself with the ultimate parking concept: either park far away on a non-street cleaning block and get in line late, or find parking that I can only stay for an hour, because parking is a sport there You always want to lose. I go for the first option.
I come in line with the same women who were rejected by me at Drybar. Maybe Maisel Day is really about all the friends you get along the way. The atmosphere is nice and warm. There are mothers with their little daughters and more than a few designer bags in tow, reminding me of a saying my mother used to say to me: “Rich people love free sh–.” Or something like that. After over an hour of waiting, I sit down to my makeover, which takes about 20 minutes.
Deal: $ 0.30 per gallon of gas up to 20 gallons at Chevron in Santa Monica
Waiting time: Still waiting
For this the time Variety trainee Anna joined me. Our next stop is what, to many, would be the raison d'etre of Maisel Day: super discounted gasoline. The location of the station – right at the exit of a major highway – made it one of the worst places on that side of town to hold a campaign, so I have no expectations of getting gasoline.
And we haven't. Police have blocked off streets, and traffic would be so gnarled on the 10 west highway, the promotion would be closed early .
Deal: $ 0.30 malted milkshakes at Cafe 50 & # 39; s
Wait time: 30 minutes
Cafe 50 & # 39; It's just the way it sounds: A kitschy dining room with floor-to-ceiling Americana from time to time. There is not much going on when we place the orders for a strawberry and a vanilla milkshake. At this point I think I have to explain who I lovingly refer to as "Maisel Clones." They are the exceptionally photogenic promotional models in bright pink t-shirts and A-line suits that hand out maps and plastic toilet pistons at each stop. During the day, I will hear them explain to cleft customers that they "do not actually work for [fill in the blank place]" and that they are only employed for the day. You ask me to tag her on Instagram (I don't). Final explanation of Maisel Clones.
We wait half an hour for shaking, long enough to see a young woman in glasses and hiking sandals complain about waiting too long for her order; an older Caucasian man in a Hawaiian shirt and boasts the most epic dreadlock (singular) I have ever seen putting in his for a vanilla. Say what you want, there's more diversity on Maisel Day than what's on the show itself, and I'm here for it.
Time: 11:09 am
Deal: $ 0.99 $ Maisel pastrami sandwich at Canter's Deli
Wait time: 25 minutes
This is Probably my favorite stop of the day, not only because I love Canter's, but also because the waitress seems to have this down to a science. The serving service line is moving fast. We overhear a gentleman who does not look unlike Ronnie from the "Jersey Shore" and talks excitedly about how to get "a pastrami and like three beers." Another young woman tries to explain to her male companion the meaning of the delicatessen in the show "because the family is Jewish, and she goes to the delicatessen a lot. ”He seems to have trouble understanding, so astonished she just stops. The table behind us asks if it's a vegetarian option (it's not). LA, never changes.
Deal: $ 0.59 hot dogs on Pink & # 39; s
Wait time: n / a
We make a quick detour to Pink should check the line, which looks like … Pink is another day, minus the Maisel Clones. Continuing.
Deal: $ 0.50 for a croissant at Dominique Ansel Bakery and $ 0.25 macron from Laduree, both at Grove
Wait Time:  3 minutes *
People love to hate Grove, an outdoor mall The New York Times once described as a place where " just your money is not like ." These people are wrong. Not only is there a trolley system that can take you, like, 100 meters from one end of the mall to the other, it's a Nordstrom with an exceptionally clean bathroom (ish), a pretty nice Wetzels Pretzels and one of the last Barnes & Nobles exist. Unfortunately, when we get there, there are not the deals we are looking for: The bakery has sold out of discounted croissants, and there are no more 25 cents macaroons on Laduree. Downturn. An elderly woman berates an employee of the bakery for "wasting her time because the flyer said it would be until 7 p.m. I can just hear the sigh and go to Starbucks on the third floor of Barnes & Noble to buy a bottle of water because we're going through a heat wave and I'm pretty sure my ease is from a combination of dehydration, milkshakes and pastrami.
* How long was the wait for Barnes & Noble  Time: 14.20
Deal: $ 1 tickets at Hollywood Improv
Wait time:  0 minutes
We head out to the Hollywood Improv box office and neighbors two more $ 1 tickets a show later that night. The woman who gives out our tickets explains that even if they only cost a dollar each, we will be committed to the minimum drink when we come in, with small print that seems so nice, I can't even find it on the site Maybe my vision is bad.  Time: 14.45
Deal: $ 40 for an overnight stay at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Wait time: n / a
We are approaching two Maisel Clones which are in front of the hotel entrance which immediately offers us maps. When I was on line at Blushington earlier in the day, I met two ladies I want to call Marine Biologist # 1 and Marine Biologist # 2. Marine Biologist # 1 ended up throwing himself on the Blushington line to try to get a room on the hotel before they sold out, only to later call Marine Biologist # 2 to say that the line was wrapped around the block and that she couldn't find parking and was on her way to work. The promo models inform us that the rooms have been sold out since 9:30, and that they were all directing to Canter and Pink because those places still had stock, warehouse. A hotel source later tells me that people had started camping at 3 pm
Deal: $ 2 manicure at Bellacures
Waiting time: 4 hours (but also not)
Due to labor laws and such, I drop our intern at the office and snake my way back across the city . The goal is to top my "amazing" (?) Day with a $ 2 manicure. Only I have not because a receptionist tells me that the wait is between three and four hours long, I can not get on the list, and there have been people waiting almost all day. One of those people is Diana, a hardcore "Maisel" (but mostly Zachary Levi) fan who took the liberty of moving from Studio City to West Hollywood and eventually to Santa Monica for appointments. She has been waiting for four hours to get a manicure, and the cluster of waiting women, some with young children, has done the same. No one I talk to has plans to leave; they are in it to win it. And I tip the proverbial pillbox hat to them. I'm starting to think about what all this says about inequality in America, about who benefits from consumer-driven campaigns like Maisel Day, about how, as one colleague puts it, everything costs "1 / 1000th of a Bezos." spiral until I realize that I am. Also. Only. Tired. It's not an "amazing" day, but it's mostly OK.