Saturday I went to the city to hang out with my friend Lauren. At her Christmas party a few weeks ago we decided to see "the Artist" together because she, like at least four other people in my life said "that preview reminded me of you." I love seeing films with Lauren because she sees and does everything with an open mind. Few people will react to me saying "Come over my house for a silent movie marathon" with as much genuine enthusiasm as Lauren and I just love that about her.
I got to the Angelika a bit earlier than I expected, after an uneventful train ride in and noticed, as is happening more and more lately, that my cell phone battery was dying despite me leaving the house with it fully charged. It annoyingly forced me to plug it into a rickety old outlet that was just high enough on the wall to be awkward. For some reason I thought of David Cronenberg's "eXistenZ" and people plugging themselves into machines. It could have been the notion that my arm was plugged into the wall. This was probably my dumbest digression to date. Onward...
Lauren arrived and we had a lovely brunch at an Irish/Mexican NYU college restaurant. It was amusing seeing hungover college students come to quel their nausea in greasy, cheese covered nachos. Ah, memories. Then it was time to watch the film. As if further enforcing the idea that I was born in the wrong era, the film delighted me. For a few months now I have been convinced that nothing could top "Midnight in Paris" for me as the film of 2011. But this came very, very close. It cracks me up that a silent movie, especially one like "The Artist" which is fairly typical of silent films of the early part of the 20th century is getting such acclaim. I suppose everything old is new again. Since I was born in the wrong era, this makes me smile.
After the movie, we walked around a bit, stopped into Crate and Barrel, witnessed a black Santa giving out pretzels inside the store, perused gorgeous furniture I'll never own and braced ourselves for the cold. Suddenly it was winter. We walked until we ended up on Bleecker Street in a bar called 1849. Immediately I was struck by the NYU-ish crowd but the guy at the door was nice enough and told us to sit on these low to the floor red velvet chairs that seemed to have a timed heat release on the bottom. We ordered a beer and got to chatting. About 15 minutes later my eye wandered to the floor next to me and there it was. The one and only mouse I have ever seen inside a bar or restaurant in NYC. Because that had never happened to me before, not once in the 10ish years I lived there and not once since then, I had a minor moment of panic wherein I stood up suddenly, told Lauren through clenched teeth what was happening and silently squealed "ewewewewewew!" Mice are everywhere in the city but few are so brazen as to come up to the main floor of a crowded restaurant and saunter around. I was shocked and still am.
We downed our beer (clearly, not so disturbed as to not drink Guinness) and then headed off to find less infested surroundings. There is this Belgian beer place on Waverly, the name of which eternally eludes me but I go there often when I'm in that neighborhood and so we ended up there. One Framboise later and I had to leave to catch my train home because I have
There were approximately 9 million people waiting to board the train at Penn Station. All of them sober, as it was 7pm as opposed to the drunk 3am train. Which is worse? I mean, no one vomited on the train but everyone was so pissed off. Leonard Cohen popped into my head Everybody's got this broken feeling, like their father or their dog just died. Something about weekenders on the LIRR...so much anger and irritation. The irony of course being that these were mainly people who had come into the city to do Christmas crap and were supposed to be all full of donuts and joy. Could have fooled me. I was full of Framboise so I was all good. Also, and this could be because I had seen that movie earlier that day, the young man across the aisle from me looked just like John Gilbert, circa "Queen Christina" and we kept making accidental eye contact.
|"I've been memorizing this roooooom."|
All in all, another exciting Saturday. I successfully managed to avoid doing anything practical or productive and I did this by doing fun and meaningful things like spending time with a friend, taking in a beautiful film, standing in Penn Station looking up at a digital board for 10 minutes among a large group of angry people and imbibing Belgian beer. I enjoy my life.