Last Wednesday afternoon, as Charlotte Hayes Murray, owner of Charlotte Elliott and the Bookstore Next Door on 36th Street in Hampden, removed a long splinter from her son Andrew’s finger, two beautiful young people, a boyfriend and girlfriend, slipped inside her shop and began to browse the only way they knew how: sexily. A “pretty” assistant-seeming person followed close.
Encouraged to visit the store by a local man named “John,” Hays Murray reports, the pair showed interest in an antique rug, on which Hays Murray’s father Fred Hays, her co-owner, offered the young man a great deal. His girlfriend picked up a cookbook penned by Vincent Price himself to bestow upon this John person.
“Dad later told me that the young man had said to his girlfriend, ‘See, John said you would love this place,’” Hays Murray explains.
As they continued to shop, Hays Murray soon learned that the super-cuties had been sent to her space by none other than director John Waters, the person they’d traveled to Baltimore to visit. Waters “had sent them to Hampden for a real taste of what Baltimore is all about.”
After Charlotte Hays Murray and the girlfriend introduced themselves, learning that they share a rare first name, Hays Murray invited her slim customer to try on the stack of vintage clothes she’d selected. But the assistant friend explained to shop owner Charlotte that shopper “Charlotte” is a model who can “make anything work.”
Model Charlotte added, “Oh, that’s okay, really, everything fits, and if it doesn’t, I have friends that will love it.”
Charlotte also chose an etching by D.C. artist Sheldon Fink of mushrooms, indicating to Hays Murray that her boyfriend would appreciate it because he’s “all into stuff like that.” By then her bf sat texting in one of Hays Murray’s Georgian side chairs.
“In the end I totaled up her selection and it came out to over $900,” Hays Murray says. “I panicked a little because we don’t accept American Express…and that was the only card she had. The boyfriend said he could charge the rug and the cookbook on his MasterCard and the rest could be paid for by her manager, and I would then ship it to New York City… But all was saved by neighbor merchant Debbi Stoll of Kiss ‘n’ Makeup who was able to charge it to her Square.”
As Hays Murray rang up the purchases, the couple dedicated Vincent Price’s cookbook to their special friend and host.
“They wrote ‘To John: Who knew that Vincent Price was a domestic goddess?! Luv, Charlotte and Sean.’”
The trio then climbed into a limo that we’re sure looked awfully out of place on 36th Street and they were gone, leaving Hays Murray only to Google. She quickly determined that she’d just met Sean Lennon, 36, (musician son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono) and his model/actress/musician girlfriend and musical collaborator Charlotte Kemp Muhl, 24, who buys clothes without trying them on. Because she can.
Update: Model/Actress/Musician Muhl Shopped Hampden with Another Man
On Monday we reported (above) on Charlotte Kemp Muhl’s recent shopping trip to Charlotte Elliott and the Bookstore Next Door in Hampden with boyfriend Sean Lennon and an assistant friend, but today, 5/15, we must correct the sexy scoop: We have just learned from shop owner source Charlotte Hays Murray that Muhl actually browsed the store alongside Broadway producer Jared Geller.
Hays Murray mistook dark-haired, bespectacled Geller for Lennon as she Googled for clues to her mysteriously exotic, hiply attired visitors’ identities after they departed her store in their limo. Muhl dates and makes music with Lennon.
Hays Murray later, after being corrected by a fellow shop owner, confirmed Geller’s identity for herself by way of a credit card receipt. In her defense, as the elegant trio entered her store, Hays Murray was in the process of trying to remove a monster splinter from her son’s hand.
“The girl was definitely Charlotte Muhl, it was on her ID,” Hays Murray explained. “And Charlotte was the one that was ultimately successful in taking the splinter out of my son’s finger.”