Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bridget Harrison, Tabloid Love

author Bridget Harrison

When I was growing up I never dreamed of living in the suburbs as a wife and mother, are you kidding? My dream was to live in a brownstone in Greenwich Village. On a a tree- lined, cobblestone street where I would have a modest apartment and a fabulous job. I would wear miniskirts and stilettos and have a handsome, artsy boyfriends. My job would be at an advertising agency where I would either sketch storyboards or come up with taglines or both. I would earn a lot of money and ride the subway and shop at vintage boutiques and spend weekends lounging in Central Park.

My life didn't exactly play out how I envisioned it. But Bridget Harrrison's life comes pretty darn close. She details her experiences working in New York City and dating and exploring what a single girl does in a big city, far from home in her new memoir, Tabloid Love.

Everything I've read paints you as a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones. Who do you think you resemble and why?

Alas I certainly have don't have Carrie Bradshaw's wardrobe or all those fabulous shoes. But I have had a similar experience to her in New York in that you really do end up on dates with nutty guys, and having good girl friends to rely on who become like family is a very familiar part of life for most single women who live in New York.

It's a huge compliment to be compared to either in that both characters so brilliantly touch on so many of the issues single people reaching their thirties face - from endless dreaming about finding the one, to worrying about shrivelling ovaries and juggling a career. Both characters became popular because they were so well observed and people could relate to them so well - and the characters were lovable enough to enable people to laugh at their own situations. If my book could achieve even a 10th of that I'd be thrilled.

If you could create a soundtrack to Tabloid Love, what kind of music would be on it, and what would be your theme song?

Even though my book has some sad patches its message is supposed about hope and the importance of having enthusiasm for life, and that even if you've had your heart broken you can get up, get out there and fall in love again. So I think I'd have a sequence of heartfelt but mainly uplifting tracks. The kind that when they come up on your i-pod you get a spring in your step and you hold your head up high and think "hey, life, it has its ups and downs but bring it on!" I think my theme tune would have to be You Can't Hurry Love by Diana Ross.

During the entire memoir, I kept thinking you would find true love at the very end. Since the book has been printed, have you found your soul mate?

Well in a way I am actually true to my theme tune because I've started dating a lovely guy in London who I actually knew (and had a huge crush on) when I was at college. We're taking it very slowly and if there's one lesson I've learned it's to enjoy the now in a relationship and not ruin it by constantly angsting about the future.

How did you go about writing the book: did you take it from a diary you kept, notes you made or did you just go back into your memory bank?

It came from a combination of a rather patchy diary, columns and news stories I wrote for the Post - but mainly memory. I went back and revisited places I'd covered in stories to make sure I had the descriptions and details right, but I found that as my book contained the most significant moments in my life in New York, I remembered them pretty vividly anyway. On a few occasions I asked the people involved if they could remember details that I couldn't.

The parties, celebrity sightings, cool designer cast-offs from Paula Froelich, vodka tonics-- all of it was very glamorous. However, there were parts of the book that were unglam. Looking back at your time working at The Post, what stands out as being great and what would you do over if given the chance?

Even though I'm known best for my column and associations with Page Six and the Hamptons Diary, without doubt it was my job as a news reporter at the Post which was most important to me and the most challenging. Having the opportunity and privilage to be there in people's lives at their most extreme and momentous occasions is a huge responsibility and also a great privilage. It also enabled me to experience a different side of New York away from the cliches and glamour and meet the real people who make the city such a vibrant and exciting place. It sounds mad but simply I'd like to do all the reporting all over again, but better. Being a newsreporter, you always wonder if you did a good enough job.

Do you feel like you have been touted as a poster child for single, professional New York women looking for love? You could have your own television show....starring...Sarah Jessica Parker but with freckles and a British accent.

I think Sex and the City was so wonderful it would be very hard to beat a series like that - and it was certainly never my intention. I think a more fun program would be one based in a newspaper office - maybe a bit more like Ally McBeal.

Where do you shop for your clothes? Do you own Jimmy Choos and Manolo's and Christian Louboutins? Are you a girly girl who loves clothes and shoes and lipstick and perfume?

Truly I am crap at shopping as I'm indecisive and don't have a very good eye for style, but I enjoy a good trawl around the shops about once a month, but I love more getting cast offs from friends. For the first time in my life I do own a pair of silver Jimmy Choos which I bought in Saks Fifth Avenue and they were $500!! They were so dainty and comfortable that when I put them on I felt Cinderella finding her lost slipper.

I nearly had a disaster soon after though. I wore them for 20 minutes at wedding in the UK the following week but took them off because it was raining. When I got realized I had left them at the venue and thought I would never see them again. Luckily the photographer rescued them so I was reunited with them a week later! I also have a ton of Hollywould shoes as they are extremely comfortable and I love dancing at parties. When it comes to dresses I love Diane von Furstenberg because they are so simple to wear and really womanly. Often her clothes will look a bit mad on the hangers but the moment you put them on you feel totally transformed into a gorgeous French film star.

I wear Jo Malone perfume - the Lime Bazil and Mandarine - but I'm planning on switching to the Pomegranate Noir for a change.

What cosmetics do you wear?

Mac Mascara on eyes, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm on skin, and Lancome Star Bronzer Glossy Lip Nectar on lips.

What is the last book you read?

The last book was Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and now I've just started the Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger which is dead romantic.

Where are you working now? Where do you want to be in two years from this very minute?

I'm currently in Chicago at the end of a mini book tour where I've been doing radio, appeared on the Fox news morning show this morning and will be signing in Borders opposite the Woodfield shopping mall at 2 pm tomorrow. (this interview took place last week so don't show up there tomorrow!)

Then its back to New York before flying to London on Monday where I'm working on a new project for News Corp. In two years time this very minute I'd like to be wearing an expensive, floaty white cotton dress, sitting on the porch of an enormous house by the ocean with a husband and two young children (like those perfect families who are always photographed in American Vogue and Hamptons Magazine). But then hey, you've got to have some ridiculous fantasies, right!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...
It is to bad you limited your self to a town like New York. If you were really open and looking to better your life it would have been in Idaho and meet up with a cowboy if you were looking for something real. Instead of that plastic in New York.. To bad.... @ 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oh yeah, Idaho. Now that really sounds exciting. You obviously know nothing about NY. @ 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
NYC can be exciting. Have been living here for the past five years and can say there are times you stop dead on your tracksa and realize you are standing in the epicenter of the world. but other times you can fall into the trap of work-home-etc. and feel just as if you were in the suburbs. the difference being you can always get out of the trap if you have the energy to try. as for ny men; bridget is right- they are kids in a candy store. i've had men admit it to me! the surplus of beautiful, educated women is obscene vis a vis the men. a friend once told me had he been living in his native west va, the woman he married in here (in ny) would have never given him the time of day. @ 11:04 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I would like to make a movie based on Tabloid Love. @ 2:16 PM  
Anonymous baster said...
You know unlike "Sex and the City" by Candace Bushnell, the book is a memoir rather than a fiction, although the names of many characters in the book have been changed to protect their identity
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Anonymous Suzanna said...
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