Sex and the City
The Cold War

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Big vs. Alek: Alek Wins This Round

Carrie VOs that when it's cold outside, New Yorkers head inside and look for ways to keep warm. Her scenario includes a corner table at a bistro, a tray of raw oysters, and Aleksandr's hand down her top. He's totally trying to cop a feel, right there at the table! Carrie, in her typical modest fashion, squirms a bit and whispers, "People are loooooo-king!" People are also gagging, rolling their eyes, and recommending that a room be taken out in either of Carrie's or Alek's names. Even a fake name would do. They just need to be sure to procure a room with enough room for the tree the two of them are sitting in. Alek keeps fishing around for some boob and says that no one is looking. Then, two men and a woman stroll up and boom, "Petrovsky!" Alek leaves his hand on Carrie's clavicle for another long moment as he greets his people, and then invites them to sit down. The woman say something about there being many restaurants in New York, but "everyone's at Pastis." I hate how some people brag and kvetch at the same time. I try to stick to one or the other. But then again, I don't live in Manhattan. Maybe it's a thing we in the provinces just wouldn't understand. Like a black thing. Alek introduces his homies -- a painter; Alek's youngish assistant; and the woman is the editor of Art Life magazine. The (sixtysomething) painter and the (fiftysomething) editor instantly begin congratulating Alek on his upcoming show at a gallery in Paris, his first show in six years. Alek is modest. Carrie, clueless. She is clearly hearing this news for the first time. The painter says of Alek's poker-faced modesty, "You are so full of shit." Alek says, "I never said I wasn't." The editor says, "Well, the world is waiting with breath that is bated." No pressure. And way to make Alek's show about people's expectations and not his actual work. I guess when you're that advanced in your career, it becomes that way; people expect your body of work to become more evolved and impressive and meaningful. So, no pressure, Alek! Just sparkle, Alek, spaaarkle!

Editor calls for menus and a wine list, and asks Carrie, "So, how are they?" Carrie scrambles to hand over a menu and says the oysters are just fine. No, Editor meant Alek's new pieces. Carrie falters, and says she hasn't seen them. What about that lightbulb thing that looked like a set remnant from the "Rock Your Body" video? It was very 1970s beauty parlor. Editor, in a vaguely superior tone, asks Carrie what she does. Is she an artist? No, a writer, Carrie says. Novels? No. And here's where Carrie gets very upward-inflected-tone and forehead-creasey and insecure. She writes a column? For a newspaper? The Times, asks Editor. No -- the New York Star? Wow, I know the art world is insular, but when an editor of a magazine doesn't know Carrie's fun, fluffy column, I have to question her judgment. People in journalism are the only ones who regularly read bylines, and to claim ignorance of a peer's work is a little rude. But then again, Carrie isn't a critic per se; she's a features kind of girl. I can see why Editor is ghettoizing her, but it isn't cool. Alek comes to Carrie's rescue and says her column is about men, women, and sex, and that it's very smart and funny. Aw! Sweet. Editor says she's sure it is. Alek says, "You aren't sure, you are snide." Editor opens her mouth, but doesn't protest. Because her number is 666 and we all have it. Alek leans over and grabs a leftover copy of the New York Star from a nearby booth and begins reading from it. Carrie protests and ducks her head and looks baleful and aghast and everything, but Alek still gets out a sentence about how no one has enjoyed the sixty-nine position since 1969. Assistant laughs and says it was funny. Carrie says that wasn't one of her "smartest." I'd call it a witty truism. Snaps up to Carrie. Oh my god, what am I saying? I'm identifying and appreciating Carrie? Wuh? Snuh? Who am I? Who's talking?

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