While reports of anti-semitism in New York are on the rise, and thousands marched from lower Manhattan to downtown Brooklyn to protest, the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel shows a fantasyland of Upper West Side Jews including te housewife turned stand-up comic, Mrs. Maisel.
What is most marvelous to me about the show is the normalcy of Judaism. The main characters are all Jewish (although several are not portrayed by Jews) AND they are the protagonists. Their Judaism is accepted, celebrated, normalized.
Mrs. Maisel’s Marvelous Tour of New York City
I recently took the On Location bus and walking tour, Mrs. Maisel’s Marvelous Tour of New York City. This 2 and a half hour tour takes you to some of the bars and cafes featured in the series. Best of all, you are immersed in the Maisel world, with a tour guide dressed like Midge, and clips from the show played on the bus to show how the locations were used on the show.
Mrs. Maisel and Hanukkah
For Jews and non-Jews alike, winter holidays in New York include Christmas trees and menorahs. This past Hanukkah, Intersect by Lexus celebrated Mrs. Maisel’s 8 Marvelous Nights with latkes, (potato pancakes) dreidels (spinning tops) and menorah lightings. Plus Mrs. Maisel inspired cocktails. I visited the bar for the Finest Brine: gin, pickled brussels sprout, vermouth and orange and celery bitters. There is also Friday Night Lights : vodka, concord grape, lemon, Manischewitz, Amaro Cappelletti and egg white.
What Would Mrs. Maisel Drive?
When Midge gets a ride back to the city from her boyfriend, he drives a red 1957 Plymouth convertible. But Midge, though she is divorced, has two little kids and if she lived in the city now, she would need a minivan for her trips to the Catskills.
Modern Minivan: Pacifica Hybrid
The 3 row Chrysler Pacifica plug in hybrid gives you 32 miles of pure electric power, and 82 mpg combined gas and electric. Not only that, the vehicle has integrated video screens for kids in the second row, with Blu-ray / DVD player. The front row passenger and driver get heated ad cooled seats and the heated steering wheel keeps hands toasty. The panoramic sunroof floods the interior with light.
When Midge rides in that convertible, it likely has no airbags. The Pacifica of course has airbags. But it also has advanced safety features like full speed forward collision warning, lane departure warning and automatic high beams. It also has KeySense, a way to monitor your teen’s driving. With this key fob, you can limit the speed of the van, and how loud the satellite radio can play. Kind of brilliant.
Where Would Mrs. Maisel Shop?
On the Mrs. Maisel tour, we stopped at the butcher shop where Midge announces, “we got the rabbi” (for Shabbat dinner). Funny enough, the butcher shop isn’t Kosher: the next customer orders pork chops. For a more modern Midge, the new Wegman’s at the Brooklyn Navy Yard has tons of Kosher food. And a big parking lot where you can easily park the Pacifica minivan.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
While many scenes of the show are shot around NYC, and Midge balks at sending her kids to school in Queens, the studio where most of Mrs. Maisel is filmed is actually at Steiner Studios, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. A short walk from Wegman’s, Russ & Daughters, the Lower East Side ‘appetizing’ deli has a new outpost. top here for bagels, smoked fish, and babka.
Much of the Navy Yard is off limits, but Kings County Distillery, which makes whiskey and moonshine, offers tours every day but Monday and Tuesday. And The Gatehouses bar has craft cocktails, beer and wine.