Category: Film

Playing hooky

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006 | All Things, Books, Events, Film, Friends

SC, CS and I played hooky today, calling into our respective offices, for a much needed day off. And what better way to spend a girls day out than shopping?

At New York Magazine’s Best Bets event at The Metropolitan Pavilion at The Altman Building. The landmarked building was constructed in 1896 as the carriage house for (defunct since 1989) B. Altman’s Department Store. The space was restored in 1998 to its original grandeur with 17-foot vaulted arch brick ceilings and original Corinthian columns. It now serves as a venue for events like this, and the annual Chocolate Show (scheduled in 2006 for November 10-12.)

Our trio arrived just as doors opened at 11:00AM, queuing up behind the other (almost exclusively) women, who apparently weren’t expected to be in the office that sunny morning either.

The Altman Building

Alternate covers for New York Magazine‘s current Fall Design issue. The magazine features a photo spread of “Legends at Home,” including one of James Dean in his fifth floor apartment on my block. Dean called that place home for two years in the mid-1950s, during which he also did a photo shoot on the street in front, from which emerged one of his iconic images.

Design Issues

Jewelry, accessories, apparel, shoes, beauty products and home design objects… We wandered among the colorful, tempting stands, but only SC ended up buying anything (and that not even for herself.) Still, the fun is in the journey. And a percentage of the ticket sale proceeds went to the Fund for Public Schools.

Best Bets Shopping

We picked up our bright orange gift bags and set off for a leisurely lunch at tiny Tartine, my erstwhile Sunday brunch spot. From our sidewalk-side table facing the leafy green West Village block, the afternoon sun was bright and unseasonably warm on our faces, enhancing the lazy day feel.

West Village Dog

More shopping, and then SC left us to attend to some B-school business. CS and I took in some more sun on a stroll uptown and caught “The Last Kiss” at our neighborhood theater. I had read precious little about the film prior to seeing it — the screening time just happened to mesh with our schedules — and I probably will not be the only one to observe that the movie may as well have been titled “Garden State 2: Electric Boogaloo.” I was slightly surprised to note that the screenplay was written by Paul Haggis (and not in collaboration with Zach Braff), the same scribe that gave us “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby.” Disaffected, emotionally-stunted protagonist pondering life’s direction and purpose, while being drawn to a petite, perky brunette, and supported by a cadre of quirky friends. Even the soundtrack was interchangeable: Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Remy Zero, Aimee Mann, Coldplay, Imogen Heap.

I do like the ethereal “Hide and Seek,” though I feel that the song has been overused of late.

Later in the evening, I attended a launch party at The W New York for Food Network‘s Dave Lieberman, whose second cookbook “Dave’s Dinners: A Fresh Approach to Home-Cooked Meals” was released this month by Hyperion. Philadelphia-native Lieberman began his television career as the star of his own public access cooking show, Campus Cuisine, while a student at Yale. He was named one of People magazine’s “50 Hottest Bachelors” in 2005. (Well, he is a man who can cook.)

W New York Lounge

No cooking demonstration, but Lieberman was there, signing copies of his new book. Though I’m not actually sure what this inscription says…

From Dave

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Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 | All Things, Film

Alex returned to my apartment in the late morning to start work on the tub. Reglazing is apparently a rather involved task that entails using powerful chemicals to strip the tub, patching and smoothing the chips, etching the surface with acid, applying a primer and finally spraying on several coats of enamel glaze. The entire process took a few hours, sending clouds of noxious, high-inducing fumes throughout the apartment.

But in the end, I had a shiny, new tub (surface) to show for it, yay! And I’m sure this light-headedness will wear off eventually…

Later in the evening, B stopped by (with a bottle of cachaça — thanks!) and we took the subway downtown to Two Boots Pioneer Pizza for the premiere of Blogumentary — a lightweight documentary about the influence of web logs on media, politics and culture. Yep: it’s a film about bloggers blogging! The theatre was less than half full, despite the promoted appearance of the filmmaker, Chuck Olsen. Perhaps the relevance of blogs has been overhyped — another case of the vocal (or prolific) few generating disproportionate coverage and skewing general perception.

According to a recent article, a staggering 175,000 new blogs are created every day. Hmm… am I really just a cliche?

Two Boots

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Good bye, Pluto. Hello, Kryptonite.

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 | All Things, Film, Friends

Back at the apartment, I had a run-in with the super, and as a result, the work I had arranged to have done in the apartment this afternoon got postponed to tomorrow morning. So I guess I won’t be going back to the office until Thursday. Gotta love co-op living.

B, RS and JS were planning a trip into Manhattan, and joining them on their continuing tour of New York seemed vastly preferable to sitting at home sulking over my own thwarted plans. We met at the movie theatre and headed uptown to The American Museum of Natural History. (We were about to to hit the MoMA, until SYB reminded us that the museum is closed on Tuesdays. Good looking out!)

We entered the Rose Center for Earth and Space first, recalling to mind that the last time I set foot inside, a year and a half ago, it was 4:00AM on a pitch black and icy, mid-January morning. SYB, B and I (and a couple hundred other hardy/crazy souls) had made the trek there to witness the live feed of the Huygens spacecraft touching down on Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons. When those first black, white and flaming orange grainy images started flitting across the screens before our bleary eyes, it was a sight to behold. The excitement at the Center was palpable, and well worth losing the few hours sleep.

Today, at a far more reasonable hour, we zipped among the fleets of Maclarens through the spiral walkway with the timeline of the universe (Big Bang to present): 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in ten minutes! I always liked the Scales of the Universe upper walkway feature, offering size comparisons ranging from the known universe to subatomic particles by using the 87-foot Hayden Sphere in the center as a reference.

As for the scaled model of the solar system inside: there is no Pluto. Never was, from the time the Center opened in 2000. A display for the model notes that “Beyond the outer planets is the Kuiper Belt of comets, a disk of small, icy worlds including Pluto.” A controversal concept at the time, now widely accepted.

No field trip to the Museum is complete without checking out the dinosaurs:


And while we were there…

Skeleton Skeleton

We were out of there in record time, opting for a leisurely dinner of New York pizzas with the visitors before the IMAX screening of Superman Returns… in 3-D! We were handed giant plastic glasses at the door to don for four film sequences (and the trailers, which were also projected in 3-D.) Actually, though, it was three film sequences and an approximately ten second long clip of the Man of Steel flying around just before the closing credits rolled. Still, pretty cool!

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