I’m ending Documentary Month on a high note, with the film that made wacky headscarves and cat food dinners tres chic. Grey Gardens (DVD/Download) is a story too weird to be true, and yet it is. Think of this as Hoarders O.G.
In telling the saga of Big and Little Edie, the black-sheep relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy-Onassis, filmmakers Albert and David Maysles let the ladies speak for themselves. We see their crumbling mansion on Long Island in all its cat and raccoon-infested glory, their strange, pieced-together clothing, and a co-dependent bond between mother and daughter that’s a little sweet, but mostly disturbing. Like a slow-moving trainwreck, I cannot look away. But despite the horror and revulsion I feel about the unhygienic living conditions, there’s something freeing in watching these women live their lives without giving a damn what society thinks. It may seem arbitrary to care about fashion and ballet when you’re sharing a bed with a raccoon, but hey- you do you.
It seems appropriate to drink a Long Island Iced Tea while watching this film, but like Little Edie, I’m giving it my own weird twist. Double the rum, splash of cranberry, and of course, a little lemon to make it all right. While watching Grey Gardens, I recommend drinking an East Hamptons Iced Tea.
East Hamptons Iced Tea
1 ½ oz Rum
½ oz Vodka
½ oz Gin
½ oz Silver Tequila
½ oz Cointreau
3 oz Cranberry Soda
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
Mix all ingredients together in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Pour entire contents in a Collins glass, and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Maybe we’ve all got a little bit of the Ediths in us, and maybe we all struggle at some point to avoid the temptation of staying in bed, of hiding when the world seems too changed and too scary. But then, along comes another voice that says nope- today you’re gonna put on a new leotard and dance around like no one’s watching. Today you’re gonna be weird, wonderful, and truly original. And maybe eventually, the whole world will be watching. Cheers!