“Wedding dress place on Willow”

LORELAI: Hey Mom. I was in the neighbourhood, ’cause there’s that wedding dress place on Willow.

There are a few streets named Willow in the Hartford area, but none of them are in the sort of upmarket shopping district you’d expect a bridal store to be. I think for now we have to accept it as a fictional place – and it’s not impossible that Lorelai has invented it to explain her presence at her mother’s house.

At the beginning of the episode, Rory took Lorelai wedding dress shopping, but we never saw the results of that expedition. It’s still not clear if Lorelai’s bought her dress yet, or has bought the dress but is still to choose a wedding veil for it. It provides bookends for the episode, with Lorelai’s daughter helping her with her wedding outfit at the beginning, and her mother helping her at the end, so that all three generations of “Gilmore girls” take part in Lorelai’s planned wedding.

“Now I’m an expert at it”

RORY: And I could help you organize all of your extracurricular activities because I’m now an expert at it.
DEAN: I don’t …
RORY: How are your wilderness skills?

How did Rory become “an expert” at extracurricular activities in what is posited as a 24-hour period? All she can have done is read a few brochures and made a couple of phone calls, or sent a few emails – on a weekend.

Furthermore, what does being “an expert” mean? Has she got herself some volunteer work for the summer? Because she never mentions it again, and that part of the year isn’t depicted on the show.

Sunnyside

RORY: I called the Sunnyside home. Do they need any volunteers? And believe it or not, they don’t, but they do need an accordion player for their Friday night polka party.

Sunnyside Nursing Centers are a chain of aged care nursing and rehabilitation homes in the United States. In real life, there is more than one Sunnyside nursing home in the Wallingford area, where Stars Hollow appears to be located, although none of them are actually called The Sunnyside Home (that may just be what people in Stars Hollow call it, rather than its actual name).

Apart from trying the Fireflies and Sunnyside, Rory also calls the Stars Hollow library, which apparently only has twelve books (surely an exaggeration), and the Chilton tutoring program, who are just taking names at present.

Rory seems to have amassed an enormous amount of brochures for various organisations within a few hours, late in the day. How she managed to do this is something of a mystery

The Construction Foreman

[Rory taps on a man’s shoulder while he’s sawing a piece of wood.]
RORY: Excuse me.
MAN: Hey, you’re touching a man with a saw. You don’t touch a man with a saw. What are you thinking?
RORY: I’m sorry.
MAN: I could’ve hurt myself. I could’ve hurt you. There’s a ton of hurt that almost happened here.

The construction foreman for Rebuilding Together in Hartford, played by Biff Yeager, is named Tom in the credits. He seems to be the same person as Tom the contractor who will later be seen in Stars Hollow whenever anyone needs some building or renovating work done, but it isn’t made completely clear. He doesn’t have a beard, while Tom the contractor does, but he might have grown one. It’s also uncertain whether he lives in Hartford but travels to Stars Hollow when needed, lives in Stars Hollow but took this job in Hartford for Rebuilding Together, or originally lived in Hartford but later moved to Stars Hollow.

Busan

Busan is where Lane’s cousins live, and where she will be spending the summer from June to August 2001. The city was called Pusan until 2000, and is pronounced like Pusan (at least that’s how it sounds to English-speakers).

Busan is the second-biggest city in South Korea, and has a population of over 3 million. It is the economic centre of south-eastern Korea, and has a large industrial area, and the biggest port in Korea. It is called the summer capital of Korea, since it has a number of beaches to attract tourists, along with cafes, restaurants, and shopping districts to cater to them.

It is unknown whether Mr and Mrs Kim, or their families, are originally from the Busan area as well as the cousins, but it doesn’t seem too unlikely.

Porn Star Tee-Shirt

LORELAI:  If you cut him [Richard] a little slack, I’ll wear my Porn Star tee-shirt to dinner next week.

Presumably a tee-shirt which has “Porn Star” written on the front. Such tee-shirts are still common, and it is hard to say what Lorelai’s might look like. We never see it, and it seems unlikely she would wear it to dinner with her parents.

Beefaroni

RORY: Grandma, I can’t believe you found the recipe for Beefaroni.
EMILY: It wasn’t easy. Antonia thought I’d gone insane.

Beefaroni was earlier mentioned as a food Rory liked, and now we discover it is actually her favourite meal, requested for her special dinner.

Because home made Beefaroni is basically just macaroni, beef mince, tomato puree, and cheese, even a very average home cook could easily make up their own recipe for it. Non-cooking Rory is amazed to discover that homemade Beefaroni even exists, while equally non-domestic Emily apparently had great trouble finding a recipe.

If Antonia the cook is from Europe, and most especially from Italy, no wonder she thought Emily had gone insane with her request. She had probably never even heard of Beefaroni before.

Emily said the “secret” to Beefaroni isn’t beef. She may have got Antonia to reproduce Beefaroni based on the list of ingredients on a can, which involves all sorts of things that a regular home recipe would omit, including textured soy protein, caramel, yeast, ammonium chloride, citric acid, and the like.

Lorelai and Rory seem to assume she means the Beefaroni is made from some kind of mystery meat, and quickly stop eating. We never discover exactly what Emily means.