Boswell Peeps, Man of Mystery

On Friday afternoon I learned the danger of multitasking and almost paid for the lesson with my life.

Earlier in the day, a friend had asked if I’d seen this month’s issue of the Nob Hill Gazette. I had, of course (like I’d miss it? No way.) Did I see the piece on New York, he inquired. And while technically I had “seen” it, I didn’t read it. I usually skim magazines, but have little time to actually read them.

So when I spotted the NHG at a chic little shop near Union Square, I quickly tore through it to find the New York piece that was getting all the buzz. A million worries crossed my mind as I quickly glanced at it — what if some scandalous dish had been dropped about a friend? And worse, what if it hadn’t?

None of the bold names in the column were on my Christmas card list, so I stashed the magazine in my bag and continued shopping. It was about half an hour later that I thought about it again and stopped in my tracks, intrigued. What the heck WAS that?

I pulled the magazine out and began reading again. As I became engrossed in it I started to slowly walk out into the middle of the street, paying no attention to my surroundings at all — my dear SFluxers, I stepped into the intersection of Stockton and Market totally oblivious to the fact a bus had just pulled away from the curb. Someone shouted, I looked up, and the bus mercifully halted just three or four inches in front of me.

Darned bus broke my concentration.

The column “New York Live!” is written by “Boswell Peeps” a “prominent New Yorker who wants to be anonymous.” This is his first appearance on the pages of the Gazette — and I say “his” with reticence since the writer could very well be female. Indeed, I’ve entertained the notion that Boswell Peeps is simply the ghost of Hedda Hopper.

It’s a fun read — sort of breezy and effervescent in the style of a 1950s gossip columnist who has seen it all but is still quite amused. A welcome change from the snide, jaded style of so many other gossips.

People are wondering who the great Boswell really is. I have some ideas, but I’m certainly not going to tell, especially since I’m always wrong about such things. But I do know this much — next month I’m reading the column while safely inside the Muni, not in front of it.

  • Further Reading: “New York Live!” []