Before Sex and the City, there was Lois Long, writing for The New Yorker in Roaring Twenties Manhattan. I noticed the homage to Lois Long while I watched Ken Burns’ Prohibition on PBS with a nice Merlot. Her Nom de Plume was simply Lipstick. Just as most women couldn’t walk a mile in Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw’s $600 Manolo Blahniks shoes, most Roaring Twenties women couldn’t have lived Lois Long’s life if they tried.
Lipstick reportedly showed up at work at 4 a.m., intoxicated, and lept over her cubicle when she couldn’t find her key. She wrote that men at one club “were not handsome but they looked like good providers”. In the Roaring Twenties, bootleggers carried $1,000 bills. That wasn’t a typo. If like me, you haven’t seen one, it’s because they were discontinued due to organized crime’s penchant for $1,000 bills. And really, it’s for the best — can you imagine handing a beleagured barrista at Starbucks a $1,000 bill for coffee in the morning?
Ken Burns’ Prohibition illuminates the Roaring Twenties in a timeless way. Archival footage has never looked so alluring. And when certain advocates of Prohibition realized it hadn’t accomplished what they had hoped,they had the courage to admit it was a mistake.
Enjoy picking up Prohibition on DVD from Amazon by clicking on the image above or the link below: