Category: All Things

Sand n’ Surf… sorta

Sunday, July 9th, 2006 | All Things, Eats, Friends

Decided today to head out to the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City earlier this afternoon before the World Cup final party in Sunnyside. Intriguing little spot, perfect for beach-starved city dwellers who can appreciate the trippy, fakey nature of laying out on a Port Authority-owned wharf atop Jersey-imported sand, overlooking Midtown Manhattan… and without their toes actually touching any water.

Water Taxi

Still, the sun shone hot and bright, and from the wooden picnic tables, we could sink our teeth into freshly grilled burgers while the seaspray (riverspray?) misted us off the New York Water Taxi ferries to 34th Street.

The burgers, by the way, are very good, as one would expect from a place run by Harry Hawk of Schnäck fame. According to the website, they’re crafted of 1/4 lbs of 100% Certified Black Angus Chuck, ground fresh daily based on the estimated need for the day, and once they’re out, they’re out. That credo seemed to apply to other menu items as well; by the time we arrived early Sunday afternoon, the tiki hut had run out of fries, chips and bratwurst for the weekend.

But the sangria and frozen margaritas were refreshing and tasty — dangerously tasty. Plus, how could we resist the DJ spinning his eclectic mix beach-ready tunes, ranging from The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” to Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” to Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy?” (Thanks, B!)

The chainlink fence separating us from the water somewhat detracted from the illusion of a true beach experience, but the sunbathers and volleyball players hardly seemed to notice or mind.

Water Taxi Beach

Water Taxi Beach

Such a beautiful day, and I ended up staying somewhat longer than planned. On the way to the World Cup Final party, I passed several cars, which suddenly exploded into a cacophony of horn-blaring and jubilant shouting, as jersey-clad passengers hung out of the open windows, waving their red, white and green flags in the air. Hmm.

And sure enough, by the time I arrived, the Italy v. France match was over — penalty kicks and all. Even missed the Zidane headbutt, though not the endless replays on the news later that night.

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Main Squeeze

Saturday, July 8th, 2006 | All Things, Events, Music

SYB rose bright and early on Saturday morning to wait outside the Public Theatre for Shakespeare in the Park tickets so I could attend one of the last performances of Macbeth that night. A valiant — and generous — effort, but perhaps due to the recent run of sunny, low-humidity days or to some “final reminder” writeup in one of the dreaded city-centric blogs, by 7:30AM, the line was 250+(!) deep for the 1:00PM ticket distribution. Got his text message shortly after 10:00AM regretfully informing me that he missed the cutoff by about 10 spots.

Meryl Streep’s run in Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage begins August 8. Dare I try?

So after work that night, instead of watching Liev Schreiber perform (and instead of crashing D’s bachelor party), I strolled over to Riverside Park South to check out the tail end of the 1st Annual NYC Main Squeeze Accordion Festival on the newly opened Pier I at West 70th Street.

Good, goofy fun. As advertised, there was live accordion music and an accordion flea market. By 8:30PM the festival was winding down, but as the sun set in the west, the band musicians played on to a still lively crowd, several of whom were moved to their feet, dancing along the pier to “The Tennessee Waltz.”

View of West New York, New Jersey:


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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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