Chateau Jean Georges la Jean Georges in Paris

RORY: You’re the graduate. You get to be pampered.

LORELAI: Okay, then I would like to go to Chateau Jean Georges la Jean Georges in Paris.

Lorelai refers to French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (born 1957), who arrived in the US in 1985, and moved to New York the following year, earning immediate plaudits for his innovative approach to classic French cuisine. Having already opened ten restaurants around the world, his first American venture was the bistro JoJo in New York, opened in 1991. He has since gone on to command numerous other restaurants in the US and internationally.

His restaurant Jean-Georges opened in the Trump Tower, Manhattan in 1997 to critical acclaim, and his Paris restaurant opened in 2001, the year before this episode broadcast. It is actually called Market, and it serves French-Asian fusion food.

I don’t think it’s quite as fancy as Lorelai imagines – it is decorated simply, and the dishes are fairly reasonably priced (considering it’s a tourist trap in Paris). I think she is imagining it to be like the Jean-Georges in Manhattan, which is haute cuisine, very sophisticated, and costs hundreds of dollars per meal.

Central Park and Washington Square Park

JESS: Just hanging out . . . in the park, mostly.

RORY: Central Park?

JESS: Washington Square Park.

Central Park, a 843 acre park in Upper Manhattan, New York, the fifth-largest park in the city. Opened in 1858, it is the most visited park in the US, and the most filmed location in the world.

Washington Square Park [pictured], a 10 acre park in the Greenwich Village district of Lower Manhattan, New York. One of the best known of the city’s public parks, it is a cultural icon and popular meeting place. It is notable for its arch, modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and its fountain. The ground was first made into a park in 1849.

Jess says that Washington Square Park is “cooler” than Central Park. Apart from its location in fashionable Greenwich Village, it has a history of street performers, and protests and demonstrations. It has been a focal point for students, artists, musicians, and writers in the Beat, folk, and hippie movements. Robert Louis Stevenson once met Mark Twain here. Buddy Holly spent time here helping guitarists with their technique, and Barack Obama held a rally here. It’s a popular spot for filming, and Amy Sherman-Palladino’s show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has filmed scenes here.

Washington Square Park, with its Beatnik and counter-cultural heritage, seems like the perfect place for Jess to hang out. I’m not sure if this is meant to suggest that he and Liz live in this area (if so, only with the kind of magical rent control that appears in TV shows like Friends!).

Jess obviously isn’t attending school, because he went back to New York right near the end of semester and its too late to start at a new school. This is breaking the law, but I guess he’s fallen through the cracks in the system as nobody knows where he really lives.

Shea Stadium When the Beatles Played

LORELAI: Ugh, Rory, my brain is full. It has reached capacity. It’s Shea Stadium when the Beatles played. It’s cramped and girls are screaming and I think George is fighting with Ringo.

Shea Stadium, officially the William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, was a a sports stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York, which opened in 1964. It was the home of the New York Mets baseball team and the New York Jets football team, and was demolished in 2009.

The Beatles opened their 1965 North American tour there to a record crowd of 56 000, one of the peaks of Beatlemania. It was the first concert held at a major stadium, and after that, Shea Stadium hosted many other big name music artists. The last concert there was Billy Joel in 2009, which closed with Paul McCartney performing “Let It Be”. Improbably, the same groundskeeper drove Paul McCartney to the first and last concerts at the stadium.

“I wanna go to New York some day”

LANE: So, you’re from New York, huh?

SOPHIE: Yes, I am.

LANE: I wanna go to New York someday.

Previously, Lane said she wanted to live in Philadelphia, but that might have been just to have something to reply to Rory. Now she says she wants to go to New York – but it might be just to keep Sophie talking. It’s not actually possible to tell whether Lane has any ambitions to leave Stars Hollow at all.

Like Sophie, Carole King was born and raised in New York City, and like Sophie, she moved to the country. She moved to a ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho in the 1980s, only selling up a few years ago. Between New York and Idaho, she lived in L.A during the 1970s.

Woodstock

LORELAI: Maybe we should do like a movie marathon weekend. You know, just show one movie after the other for three days and charge everyone a fortune, gouge them for bottled water, have those really disgusting little bathrooms – it’d be like our own Woodstock.

Woodstock Music and Art Fair, commonly known as Woodstock, was a music festival held August 15-18 in 1969, held on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 40 miles from the town of Woodstock. It attracted an audience of 400 000, and 32 acts performed outdoors, despite sporadic rain. The festival has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history as well as a defining event for the counterculture generation.

Hartford Natural History Museum

BRAD: My mom works. She’s a curator at the Hartford Natural History Museum.

In real life, Hartford doesn’t have a natural history museum. The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History was at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, about half an hour’s drive east of Hartford; it closed in 2016. A more famous collection is the Peabody Museum of Natural History, at Yale University [pictured].

Napoleon and Elba

LOUISE: Someone’s not taking to Elba too kindly.

PARIS: What does that mean?

LOUISE: Just that Rory’s the leader of this group, Napoleon, and you’re not.

Napoleon Bonaparte, born Napoleone di Buonaparte (1769-1821), French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution, becoming Emperor of France in the early 19th century. He was one of the greatest military commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied in military schools worldwide.

After Napoleon was forced to abdicate in 1814 he was exiled to the island of Elba, between Corsica and Italy. Louise is saying that now that Rory is leader of their group, Paris is like a great leader forced into the political wilderness.

In fact, Napoleon didn’t waste his time on Elba, improving the island with his usual energy and vision. He escaped from it nine months later and briefly took control of France again before being defeated at Waterloo. Like Napoleon, Paris is unlikely to languish in the background for too long.

[Picture shows Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David (1800)]

Israel

TROUBADOUR #2: Sold it all, made enough money to do some traveling. Have you ever been to Israel? Turbulent, I know, but I thought I’d go down and try to plant some peace down there, know what I mean? See if it grows and see if it spreads.

Israel, earlier alluded to as a place of discord. This is the second person to travel between Israel and Connecticut in the show, the other being Rachel. The Second Troubadour must have made a lot of money from his vegetables if it was enough for him to visit Israel.

Sookie’s International Wedding Connections

Prague, Czech Republic – big ceramic stands

Paris, France – giant papier-mache mushrooms

Belgium – the papier-mache from here was rejected as hack work

Oslo, Norway

Copenhagen, Denmark

Bora Bora, an island group in French Polynesia, popular honeymoon destination [pictured]

Hong Kong – acrobats

After a few words from Lorelai, Sookie suddenly understands that she’s wandered into Emilyland, and that she wants her nice simple wedding with Jackson back. A subplot which ran its course very quickly.