Friday, July 7th, 2006 | All Things, Film, Friends

M met me for lunch downtown this afternoon, freshly bronzed off her trip to Mexico. Over yellowfin tuna salad, she regaled me with lavish tales of poolside shenanigans and $60 Don Julio Real shots.

Later that evening, I met S, SC and CS for an outdoor movie in Hudson River Park, the 550-acre greened refuge spanning the five mile stretch between Battery Place and West 59th Street, and the largest open space development in Manhattan since Central Park. Since breaking ground in 1998 — and still ongoing — the city has rebuilt the formerly dilapidated far West Side into a series of docks, boat houses, lawns, beach, walkways and granite bike paths. Quite a massive undertaking, if like me, you recall the scene here from the Crack ’80s.

But the best parts are the public piers, some of which extend up to 1,000 feet into the Hudson River, offering unimpeded views of the water and… well, Jersey. Pier 46, where tonight’s screening was set up (while the Tribeca pier used in years past is undergoing reconstruction), is located in one of the first segments of the park to open to the public (Spring 2003). Hard to believe that this prime real estate was condemned and sitting unused just five years ago.

“Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” was the first of the Friday night RiverFlicks this summer. I’d somehow missed this movie in its original theatrical run in 2005, so was very much looking forward to finally seeing it, and happily, Nick Park did not disappoint. Inexplicably, I found the “Bun-Vac 6000” sequences [Check it out: QuickTime or Windows Media Player, courtesy of Dreamworks] with the absurdly twirling bunnies, particularly hilarious. As one would expect, the screening was well-attended by the stroller set.

River Flicks


The low-tech stop-motion clay animation stood in interesting counterpoint to Disney Pixar’s “Cars,” which I saw last Sunday evening with B and TR, in all its CGI glory.

After the film we stopped briefly at West Lounge, just up the block from the pier. Only briefly, because the music inside was being blasted at distracting and ridiculous levels… though I did get to hear Echo & the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon” for the first time in ages. Yes, the original and not the Pavement cover. Maybe in honor of the group’s sold out(!) appearance at Irving Plaza last week, 20+ years after that tune first made its mark?

“Faaaaate. Up against your wi-ill….” I still love it.

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