Lipstick on Martinis

With her love for cocktails and wit, Lois Long reviewed speakeasies for The New Yorker. She signed her articles “Lipstick” and defined 1920s Flapper style. She would famously show up at The New Yorker at about 4 a.m. without her keys and leap over the top of her cubicle like a cat.

Lipstick had an eloquence all her own. She wrote that men at one speakeasy “were not handsome but they looked like good providers”. In the 1920s, she’d meet bootleggers carrying $1,000 bills. That wasn’t a typo. If you haven’t seen a $1,000 bill, it’s because they were discontinued in the 1940s. And it’s for the best, isn’t it? Can you imagine someone handing a beleagured barrista at Starbucks a $1,000 bill for a morning latte?

“Will somebody do me a favor and get me home by eleven sometime? And see that nobody gives a party while I am catching up? I do so hate to miss anything.” Lipstick

In Ken Burns’ Prohibition documentary, there’s a delightful homage to Lipstick in Episode 3.

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