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PX This.: (diary of the potted plant) Paperback – May 13, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Abbe Diaz is a freelance commercial-artist and designer/dressmaker. She has worked in the restaurant/bar industry for nearly twenty years, with numerous stints throughout the New York party scene that include: Limelight, Palladium, Tunnel, Club USA, Coffee Shop, Spy, Cafe Tabac, Mercer Kitchen, Lotus, and Theo. She served as a Maitre d? at The Park, Smith, and 66. She was educated at Rutgers College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and currently resides in Staten Island, New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 493 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (May 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595319475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595319473
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,891,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Uehara on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is "The Devil wears Prada" meets "Kitchen Confidential" for the front of the (restaurant) house, in a stream of consciousness, journal format that is dishy, engaging and has smirky humor throughout.

For battle-weary vets of the latest see-and-be-seen restaurant... want to know why you're waiting 45 minutes for your `reservation' only to watch some walk-ins saunter by and get whisked away to a table? I loved the insight into "logic" re: VIP ("PX") status, strategic table seating, to how long they'll tell you the wait is (versus how long it REALLY is).

I'm a closet Star Magazine reader, so I ate up the casual reportings of celebrity behavior when the cameras have been stowed and the media is on the other side of the VIP door.

The whole 'recent real-life' dimension was fascinating. I started looking up events and people referenced. Originally I started doing this to find out how much was dramatized fiction, but the random snippets and pictures I found actually enhanced the book. I ended up keeping my laptop nearby as I read.

For example: there's an entry about a photo shoot for a review of a restaurant where Abbe is working. She ends up in the published pic, and then a popular website guide uses the photo for their restaurant listing.

So I look up the website and bingo THERE IS THE PICTURE. Cool.

Later, I'm congratulating myself because I've web-sleuthed the identities of pseudonymed bad guys, names disguised to protect the not-so-innocent. (And boy there's a lot of corroborating testimony out there!)

Intertwined throughout is Abbe's life-- defeats and triumphs with evil bosses, flaky clients and love dramas. I quite enjoyed the whole thing on so many levels; I now keep up with her doings on her blog. Go Abbe!
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Format: Paperback
PX This covers the early years of a struggling clothing designer who supported herself by working in restaurants while she tried to get her designer label, Geld Iaz, out into the competitive world of New York fashion. The author and central character is an American-born Filipina who rides a motorcycle and has an attitude. While doing her side gig, she was privy to the inner workings of some of the best restaurants in New York and has a rare perspective on some of their celebrity clients.

It's a long book because there is lots to cover: she was in New York when 9/11 happened, she had multiple jobs in multiple places, she got addicted to web boards and e-friends when her other relationships weren't there for her, and then she finds love and goes through all the typical doubts we often all have about love. I won't spoil the ending, but it's realistic, and still ongoing at [...]

The book is a diary that spans four years (2000-2004). It isn't a book with standard plot arcs and predictable resolutions, though I suppose it could have been edited to have them. I guess anyone's diary could be edited like that. The writing is stylistic - kind of like how it would sound inside someone's head - more than it is "correct grammar." It's a unique voice.

The thing that makes this book worthwhile is that the author lives a very cool life and allows the readers to ride along in a sidecar as she goes through her ups and downs. After reading enough of her down times you have to marvel at her chutzpah. Some might call it arrogance, but as you travel along while she goes on her day to day experiences, it's amazing she kept at it. Chutzpah, balls, whatever you call it, is...weirdly compelling.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading PX This a week or so ago, and I have to say, it's one of the most enjoyable books I've read over the last year. The book, written in a diary format, chronicles the true life and times of Abbe Diaz, a struggling fashion designer who moonlights as a sometime hostess, sometime maitre d' at some of New York's hippest restaurants. Though it's certainly fun to hear about her encounters with the rich, famous, and oh-so-hip clientele at these restaurants, those anecdotes are just a bonus. What I found so compelling about the book was Abbe's account of her dedication to her clothing line (How many clothing designers do you know who would dutifully set up camp on the streets of Soho, especially when it involves wheeling a cumbersome clothing rack over half of Manhattan, sitting in the hot sun, and then heading into the restaurant for work that same night?), her struggles in the restaurant industry (I've served my time in the restaurant industry myself, so I could really relate to her, although I count myself extraordinarily lucky that I've never had to deal with quite such a nightmare of a boss as the aptly named 'Loser'.), and her relationship with two important men in her life.

The author names a lot of names (Although she does use pseudonyms for a few people, they are not that difficult to figure out if you think about it and do your research), and there are quite a few people who aren't portrayed in a particularly flattering light. For this she earns a lot of respect from me -- how many people have the guts to tell the truth about relatively "big name" people (in Manhattan, anyway) in print, knowing that these same people will most likely be reading the book? Further, the author still sees a lot of these people.
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