Bill Nye the Science Guy and fashion bloggers Tom and Lorenzo have nothing in common. Except, perhaps, an appreciation for a high quality bow tie. But when we learned they would all be appearing at Mall of America at the same time on the same day, it seemed obvious that we needed to take them shopping. Like, together. Bill Nye, the scientist on a mission to make learning fun, and Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez, the real-life couple that shot to Internet stardom with their ProjectRunGay blog, and now entertains millions with their witticisms on celebrity and fashion. All of us, shopping, with mspmag cameras rolling, at the biggest mall in the land.
We arranged to meet at Hammer Made, the Minneapolis-based men’s store, which just opened its second location at MOA. Tom and Lorenzo, in town to promote their new book Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me, arrived first, and good thing: they had time to buy teal-stemmed reading glasses for Lorenzo (“readers should be fun!”), a green dopp kit for Tom, and matching Minnesota Nice T-shirts. (No worries about getting everything home—they bought luggage at Victorinox Swiss Army.)
We had just moved on to fantasy shopping for Bradley Cooper, who Tom and Lorenzo believe could do a bit better for himself, when Bill Nye slipped in, entourage in tow. He needed no coaxing to strip off his orange bow tie. Tom and Lorenzo helped him select a new one in purple plaid, which he proceeded to tie perfectly without looking in a mirror. Tom, the picture of understated elegance in a lavender dress shirt and purple tie beneath a black sweater, asked Bill if ever he feels . . . limited by the bow tie, and contemplates an update. “In a straight tie?” Nye quipped. “As if!”
Photos by Ryan Ouradnik
As the Science Guy paid for the new $65 bow tie strapped around his neck, the mall’s Rotunda was already bursting with Bill Nye fans—many in bow ties of their own, many who had been waiting as long as three hours to see the rock star scientist do a few experiments on behalf of Sophia.org. His handlers, who looked on as we shopped and talked at Hammer Made, were getting nervous about time—tapping their watches emphatically, and shooting me, the girl with the microphone, urgent 10-minutes-til-showtime looks. But it wasn’t my fault. When Bill is on, there’s really no turning him off, and he had a few things to say about dress socks—long ones in particular, he refers to as “talk show socks” because they keep the leg covered even while sitting. Also, he really liked the cobalt blue socks. Tom and Lorenzo concurred, while managing to get in an ever-so-slight jab about colorful accessories being a good way to compensate for wearing a tweed jacket and white shirt every day. And with that, all parties returned to their respective worlds.