Category Archives: Film

Take The N Train

Last night I left work and took the 6 train down to Union Square, where I changed for the N train to Brooklyn. It was the first time I’d crossed the East River since December, and I’m slightly ashamed to admit my motive this time was discount shopping mecca Target, but I needed cheap fairy lights for the garden. Anyway, as the train crossed the Manhattan Bridge I was treated to the awesome views looking south towards lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. The subway car was pretty crowded and I was pressed up against the door, and I even managed to record a short filmino. After I’d bought my lights (and stocked up on cereal), I got back on the train already excited at the prospect of enjoying the view a second time. It was almost 8 o’clock, the sky was darkening, and twinkly lights (not unlike those I’d just purchased) were dotted along the Brooklyn Bridge’s steel wires. I immediately recalled the scene in Ghostbusters when Ray and Winston are driving back across the Manhattan bridge in ECTO-1:

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NYC & SJP

As New York braces itself for the release of the Sex and the City movie, could the city in question be generating a backlash already? The answer is a resounding yes if last week’s cover of Time Out is anything to go by. Thanks to some clever (if blatant) photoshopping the ubiquitous Carrie & Co. were rendered speechless by strategically-placed duct tape, while the headline read, “NO SEX! ENOUGH ALREADY–we love ’em, but it’s just too much. Inside: 1,965 ways to enjoy your New York, guaranteed Carrie-free.

Last weekend I went to Steve & Barry’s, located somewhere within the ghastly Manhattan Mall near Herald Square, but which happens to be the only store carrying Sarah Jessica Parker’s clothing line, Bitten. In giant billboards surrounding the store SJP claims that fashion should not be a luxury for the privileged few, which is why all Bitten items cost less than twenty dollars. Clearly word of this had got out by the time I arrived, as the actress/fashion icon’s attempt to please the masses had clearly backfired, leaving nothing more than the debris of scattered coathangers and empty shoeboxes.

Party Like It’s 1977

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On Saturday night I was invited to a roller disco on Staten Island by my friends Annie and Andy who were in town from the UK. I hadn’t ever been much of a roller-skater (I prefer ice), but what the hell — I’d never been to Staten Island. But when I arrived in Dumbo it seemed the original plan had already been ditched in favour of a 70s-themed party at the large open-plan former industrial space apartment where my friends were staying.

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Andy had gone to great efforts with his costume, even paying a special visit to American Apparel, to create a somewhat garish outfit which seemed to owe more to the 80s aerobic craze than anything else, but which he pulled off with a certain panache. So we spent the evening seeing how many different foods can be dipped into fondue while classic Brooklyn movie Saturday Night Fever was projected onto the wall. On the subway back home I wondered if people will one day host 2007-themed parties, and if so what would they involve? Somehow I can’t quite imagine it. Maybe it takes a while for a decade to define its identity, but in this post-everything age, is there anything about the present popular culture (besides reality shows and the internet) that will have any relevance thirty years from now?

Love Saves The Day

Love Saves The Day is a second-hand store on the corner of Second Avenue and 7th Street. I walk past it every day on the way to the subway. It sells clothes and toys and all kinds of pop memorabilia — it’s essentially a paean to 1980s fashions and culture. Today I discovered it’s the same store which featured in the Madonna movie Desperately Seeking Susan (1985). Some mix-up concerning a jacket and Rosanna Arquette if I recall. Probably the only half-decent film La Ciccone ever made, although it’s perhaps deservedly best remembered for this song:

“He adored New York…”

On Friday I took the 6 train up to the Upper East Side. I got off at 103rd Street, and walked from Lexington Avenue, under Park Avenue where the train goes over, and to Fifth Avenue. At 100th Street I arrived at the Museum of the City of New York, a somewhat awkwardly-titled institution which celebrates the history, culture and greatness of this city. The exhibitions ranged from jazz-age photos of skyscrapers to the history of theater to the glory days of New York baseball. It was fascinating and beautifully presented. The highlight however was a short film — narrated by actor Stanley Tucci — telling the moving story of how New York came to be and why it is like it is.

It was one of those lovely, drizzly autumn days, and so after the museum I walked down Fifth Avenue by the park. Eventually I cut inside and wandered over to Second Avenue. There are many beautiful blocks in-between, and many nice shops and restaurants in that neighbourhood. Among them is Elaine’s, once the hangout for the intellectual A-list and still catering to those celebrities who don’t go by acronyms and who are just old enough to remember a time when a BlackBerry was just a fruit. The first scene of Manhattan (1979) takes place at Elaine’s, where Woody Allen is fretting to his friends about his 17 year-old girlfriend. Later I walked down to First Avenue and under the Queensboro Bridge. I saw the spot where I watched the July 4th fireworks in 1999, and I stopped at Sutton Place to admire the view. This also featured in Manhattan, and on the movie’s iconic poster.

I like a Gershwin tune. How about you?