Ever since we spent a day running around New York with U.K. pop star Lily Allen, we've been trying to figure out what makes her so much more tolerable than Lindsay Lohan, America's version of the extremely talented drunk girl with a lothario father and a love of Chanel. Yes, part of it's cultural. The British don't seem so scandalized as we are by underage intoxication (Amy Winehouse, for example, wrote a hit song about not going to rehab). So Allen comes off sounding less guilty and damaged than messy and fun.
But the more simple explanation is that Lily Allen is clever. Who cares if she just threw a bottle at the drummer from Jet? She'll have a really funny write-up about it on her blog tomorrow. And as her storylike songs suggest, hanging around with her means getting constant running commentary on her day, her obsessions, and her life. Below, our collection of Lilyisms from a summer day well spent.
1 p.m. Eating chicken satay at Café Gitane
On the biggest difference between America and England: "Here they get their snatches waxed. I get a strip, a runway strip. I don't think I could get it done in England. They stare at it. They spend ages doing it. It's like, 'Get it over and fucking done with!'"
On British versus American paparazzi: "I get really fucking angry when I get a parking ticket, and in England they can't wait to catch you screaming your head off. In L.A., some of the paparazzi are really nice. They'll feed the meter for you when you're in a restaurant."
2:30 p.m. Upon discovering that the vintage store she wants to go to is nine blocks away
"Nine! Nine blocks! I'm not walking nine blocks! Jesus!"
On getting around the city: "I know my way around certain bits. I don't know uptown at all. It's difficult to get lost in New York. You just hail a cab and say, 'Take me somewhere else.'"
3:15 p.m. Heading in a cab up to the Heatherette offices in the Empire State Building
On why we're going there: "They made me a dress a long time ago and it didn't fit. I'd gotten kind of fat and I never went in for a fitting. They just guessed what my sizes were."
On Bloomberg: "He's quite forceful, isn't he? In England the mayors don't get to do anything but ride around once a year in the mayor's parade."
3:30 p.m. In the Heatherette offices
On how many siblings she has: "I don't know. I honestly don't. My dad lies about it. He's like, 'Okay, it's eight.' And I'm like, 'We know it's twelve.' There are a few years before he met my mom that are unaccounted for, but law of averages would say he had five [kids then]."
On trying out a tulle dress with pink balls and bobs all over: "Everyone's laughing, but this is exactly the sort of thing I dress up in."
On stripping down in front of us: "I've done topless, and my press man was like, 'They're so androgynous!'"
On finding out that Paris Hilton was being sent back to jail: "I can't wait until Lindsay Lohan goes to jail. 'Boo hoo hoo. I'm going to jail.' Good. Does that mean you'll stop showing me your pussy now?"
4:00 p.m. Trying to catch a cab
On her impression of the Hamptons: "I found it very funny, like all those people who'd just left high school and were still kind of in that mode. They're really into each other."
4:10 p.m. Getting on the subway after failing to catch a cab
About the subway: "I haven't taken the subway in four years. I forgot I was famous and took a bus in London once. Everyone was staring at me. I thought I had tissue on my shoe."
On how she thinks she’s going to die: "I think I’m going to be murdered."
On her tabloid infamy: "I think people hate me in England. I’m in the tabloids. I don't want to be but I am. I'll write 10 million nice things and then I’ll write one thing that annoys me and it's like, 'Lily Allen slams Lindsay Lohan. Lily Allen slams Madonna.' And I become that person who badmouths people, which I'm not."
While attempting chin-ups on the train: "A few more weeks of yoga and I'll be there."
4:45 p.m. Rushing up the stairs, after running out of the train when she discovered her proposed trip to Coney Island would take another hour underground
"Thank God that's over! Air! I'm breathing air!"
5:00 p.m. Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge
On her favorite bands: "Morissey, Squeeze, Burt Bacharach, Jay-Z."
On her dreams: "I have been having a lot of lesbian dreams lately. I think I might be gay! Don't tell my boyfriend. I have guy dreams and girl dreams, but the girl dreams are much dirtier."
On the 2008 election: "Al Gore's going to come in at the last minute and it's going to be Gore as president and Obama for vice-president. You can [photograph] my tits if Al Gore is not president in two year's time."
On genetics: "I've got my dad's short legs and long back. My mom, my sister, and my brother all have blonde hair and blue eyes. I'm the only one like this. My sister's very tall and beautiful. But then again, I'm talented and rich."
5:20 p.m. Hanging out in the park in Dumbo
On why she's a singer: "When my parents were away and stuff, I had to get myself off to school and I could never be bothered to do it. But when my dad was an actor, I remember I'd stay with him when he was on location and people would knock on his door in the morning. 'Come on, you've got to get up! You've got to be in the makeup chair in two minutes!' I knew then that I wanted someone to wake me up in the morning. 'Oh, okay! I'll be an entertainer. I've got no responsibilities. Perfect.'"
6:00 p.m. Double-fisting slices at Joe's Pizza
"This is the first carb I've had in three weeks. But it's okay. This is work, right?"
Related: Lily Allen’s Escape to New York [NYM]