One Last Laugh

July 19, 2008

I went to see The Dark Knight last night.

**Before I go on, if you are scared of clowns or very scary clowns, you may not want to view the photos at the end of the post. They’re so cool that I have to post.**

Going to see movies on opening weekend is so much fun in New York City, not only because everyone gets so hyped up about them and tickets sell out days if not weeks in advance, but because most of the plot usually takes place on the very ground we’re sitting on.

Or in the case of last night, on the very ground we were 10 stories above (in a very fictional sense, as it’s actually Gotham City). The theater we were able to get tickets to (my 4 girl friends and I) was in Brooklyn, exactly 1/2way between my place and their place (and Jenn, the odd woman out had to come from New Jersey — the other 3 are roommates).  But it actually works out quite well to have the Brooklyn Heights/Park Slope area as a 1/2way point between our apartments because it’s SUCH a nice area. It’s where all the editors at work live and where rich people stroll along wide, brick-laden sidewalks. And of course, since it is still Brooklyn, you can walk 2 blocks in a particular direction and be in the ghetto.

So we got to the theater exactly 40 minutes before the show, which was very necessary. 5 minutes later there was a crowd of 200 out the door slamming forward to — I don’t know why everyone has to push, it’s not like we were going anywhere at first! We finally were let through the gates and I thought we would be let into the theater, but no. We had to take about 10 flights of escalators up to wait in yet another huge line. Then after chatting away with my friends for a while longer (no problem) they led us to a different floor, yet again, and we got into a third line. And finally, got into our seats. There were definitely several people sitting on the floor by the time the movie started.

And I’m sure they didn’t mind too much because this movie is GOOD. I won’t give anything away, I hope, but it has several very intense moments of action, emotion and laughter. They really pack it in with the special effects, and the acting of Heath Ledger is phenomenal. He has that crazy thing down to a tee. 

Speaking of Heath Ledger, there are several moments where they have a specific way of portraying the character where you can see beyond the caked or dripping (depending on how excited Joker is) makeup to the personable and lovable actor from 10 Things I Hate About You (teen classic). It made Julianne and I very sad at a couple points in the movie, but I think it’s good that if he was going to pass away, at least he ended with a commendable role (do we think awards?)


Side Note: There’s one thing that made me really upset that night though. As we were in the area of Cobble Hill that can be a little more low-income shall we say, there were at least half black people in the theater (I didn’t really think anything of it, although I did notice) And let me first say that a person’s color doesn’t matter to me. But I have seen several instances of rude and/or stupid behavior in my life from Black and White people. It all just depends on the type of person, and there are definitely low-quality types of both. Anyways, there was a scene in which people had to evacuate the city of Gotham. They had one huge cruise-ship-type boat of inmates, who happened to be mostly black, and another boat of “civilians,” who were probably 100% white and the boats both just sat on the river off shore. The joker gave them each a bomb trigger to blow up the other boat, and said if neither had blown the other up before the hour’s end, he would blow up both the boats. Well, as you can imagine, it was a pretty intense scene of back-and-forth decisions and arguments on each of the boats, whether to do it or not. At one point, the civilian boat was about to pull the trigger to blow up the boat of inmates, and this black girl behind me said “You got the wrong boat” and her friend a few seats down repeated “You got the wrong boat” snickering. I’m sorry, but when did it become okay to be openly racist?! Or racist at all… I mean, I know we all have our prejudices (that I wish were not there, but don’t deny everyone has them), but don’t be outright hateful and mean. Unless you think they could be talking about something else? I really don’t. It was pretty obvious what they were saying. I mean, come on! 

But after losing about 2 minutes of the movie because I was steaming about it, I got back into the plot for the last hour. Honeslty, the only thing I’d say to critisize the movie is the length. It’s well over 2 hours long and the last 1/3 is not quite as gripping as the prior segments. But it’s still quite good throughout and well worth paying the $12 to see it in the city (or the 8 to see it in another city).

And one of my favorite parts, and I think pretty much everyone else’s in the theater, really was Heath Ledger as The Joker. He was absolutely amazingly psychotic and thrilling. And somewhat of a lovable character, too. Weird, huh? Here are some pics I like:

Marc Lee, The Daily Telegraph
The Dark Knight has plenty of high-speed, maximum-volume action sequences, but it is also one of the most intelligent big-budget Hollywood movies of recent times; and no sympathy vote is required for a cinematic creation as accomplished as Ledger’s deranged, demonic Lord of Chaos. It is a genuinely unsettling, brilliantly nuanced portrait of evil.


My Free Second

June 26, 2008

Life is busy in New York!  I have so much to talk about here — observations, explorations — yeah, you get the picture. But no time to write! Currently, I am so tired, I must take advantage of having nothing to do but sleep. But I’ve also been up to a lot of things and thinking things I wanted to share. The least I can do is post some pics for now.

I went to a dinner w/ Lindsay, and Gavin DeGraw was there performing an “intimate acoustic set.” We met him after the show around 11 and talked about how we are vegetarians. While he was eating a steak for dinner.

Today at work I went downtown to the Playmobil showroom and they showed me all the toys for their Holiday Preview. And they also let me take whatever toys I wanted. This little guy is now chillin’ and grillin’ at my desk!  I also have the Cop on my keychain and I’m going to give the Air Traffic Controller to my friend Amy for her bday — she loves a man in uniform!


The Things That Don’t Translate

June 19, 2008

When you’re in the middle of something — anything — it feels like that feeling, that environment, those people.. It feels like all the things that make up who you are at that moment will always be.  I think we all know from experience that things change. But there are certain things — certain friendships in particular — that you Know will always be strong, always be understood, always be. 

I had an experience that really hurt me where one of my best friends was around and we didn’t get along. This person didn’t Get me, and didn’t even really Like me either. We didn’t Click at all, which is hard when that happens. It tells you that nothing in your whole entire life will be permanent. I mean, I’m sure there can be some arguments about that. I guess you could say Faith is something that stays the same. I’m not so sure. FaIth wavers, strenthens, falters, adapts just like everything else. 

Life is beautiful because everything that happens is unique and no one in the whole entire world (not even you) will experience those people or that moment again.

And after this draining weekend of not getting along with one of my “bffs,” life redeemed itself with agorgeous evening with fun friends on the edge of the Hudson River.

We had dinner and drinks and talked about.. well, we talked about me and my problems a lot, which is always nice (hey! no one else chimed in!) lol


Hudson Boat Basin 6/17/08

Brooklyn Promenade, Sunday night

June 16, 2008

Brooklyn Heights, a neighborhood close to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Promenade



View of the Financial District (Manhattan) from the Brooklyn Promenade






The People’s House

June 13, 2008

We walked out of that thing carrying much more than we could handle. Everyone we passed on the streets of New York was making comments, taking pictures and wanting to talk to us. It was a strange night, and it all started when Lindsay invited me to go to the Historic House Trust of New York City.  

It was the 20th annual Founders Award Dinner at Gracie Mansion, basically the White House of NYC. The mayor of New York usually resides there, although Mayor Bloomberg does not. He was there though.

It was set up like a wedding, taking place on the gorgeous estate of Gracie Mansion. When we arrived, there was a huge canopied area with tables all set for dinner and people mingling around. Waiters busted about with trays full of tiny spring rolls and grilled cheese (grilled cheese at a fancy evenT?  i have no clue.)  Some had glasses of white wine.

Tours of the mansion were drawing people inside. The night was a perfect temperature — rather warm, but with a slight breeze. Not too hot, but definitely summery.  You could see the Queensboro Bridge (i think that was the one!) from the front porch, and the water was sparkling behind it.

Dinner started with a caprese salad and bread. We sat at Lindsay’s company table. I sat next to L and on the other side a too-tan broker from her firm was trying to talk to me. His trophy wife eyed me with her Botox lips. It was kind of scary, but they were both really nice and asked L and I if we wanted to model in the wife’s new photoshoot at their house in the Hampton’s. Um, sure!

I didn’t know where Bloomberg was because I was on the phone when Lindsay (and our friends Shamica and Mindy) met him. When they announced his name to come up and speak, I realized, as we sat patiently at assigned table #17, we were probably as close as could be to him.

There he is, sitting next to Mrs. Bloomberg.

He was so funny, too! He could have been a standup comedian, you know, funny in the “im giving a speech” kind of way. funny for giving a speech, for sure. very nice man. 

The photographer from the New York Sun was taking photos of us, and another photog even got some shots of the 4 of us (Lindsay, me, Shamica, and Mindy) and Bloomie 🙂 (I can call you Bloomie, right Bloomie?) 

Lindsay looked so pretty in her dress! and she made it herself!

I bought my dress at a discount store an hour before we got there. It was 80% off!! score!!  

So the evening was great. We met the Mayor, danced to fun music, ate a good salad and Strawberry shortcake for desert (the vegetarian “dinner” was nothing but semi-steamed veggies), and left with giftbags.

Oh, the gift bags. Oh man. They were just like you see on VH1 or MTV .. We were walking out, each carrying one of the bouquets of flowers from the tables (they woulda thrown them out anyways!) and then, near the security at the front, they had a table full of gift totes from Estee Lauder/Benjamin Moore (paint).

They had EL lipgloss, sunscreen, a huge bottle of DKNY perfume (for men, aw shucks), paint stuff yay!, and a Cashmire blanket!

I can’t wait until Lindsay invites me to the next event. As for the meantime, I’m sure I’ll keep myself occupied — my bff from home, Phillip, is coming into town tomorrow and there’s a ton of people i need to catch up with over the weekend. 

Urban Visionaries

June 11, 2008

I thought tonight would be a quiet night where I would work from home, again, to catch up on work, which I have a lot of this week.

But about mid-day, my roommate e-mailed to ask if I would come with her to an event she got invited to: The Cooper Union Urban Visionaries, an annual silent auction and award dinner.

Well, hello, yes! I will attend, rsvp, check! She needed someone to attend, because her boyfriend, who actually graduated from the Cooper Union a few years back, got into a bicycle accident this weekend. He’s okay, but has to get his 2 front teeth replaced and he had a dislocated shoulder. But overall he’s okay, which we’re all glad about.

The dinner was amazing. No, actually, the dinner was fancy but OK. The VIEW was amazing. The event was on the 52nd floor of World Trade #7, overlooking uptown Manhattan.

It was light out when we got there at 8, but quickly got darker. I knew Annie Leibovitz , the uber-famous photographer, was one of the honorees, but I didn’t see her anywhere — there were 100s of people.

Dinner was good. Linday and I chatted with the people around us at the table, including one of the three founders of her company, who also owns many many pieces of real estate in NYC and across the country (including Minneapolis where I was born!).

They toasted the evening and spoke about the college and the event. The honorary attendees were invited to the stage. First was Annie Leibovitz (!!!) I know her work most recently from her recent photo shoot with Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana. When the young starlet saw herself looking so racy and seductive in the Vanity Fair pics, she and her family accused Leibovitz of taking advantage of her age and naive nature.

*Honestly? You’re the one who was IN the pictures! Control yourself.

Ms. Leibovitz spoke; She was very much like you would expect an ultra-nerd photographer to be: kind of shy and awkward, but to the point and somewhat amusing. I wanted to talk to her in person.

After the event, Lindsay and I walked over to the bar and ordered cocktails. I got what she got, which was some sort of cosmo variation. Then, when Lindsay walked away toward the phenomenal window view, I snuck in toward the crowd of people.

I spotted the tall blonde head of disheveled hair and made my way toward her. There were only a few people near the world-famous photographer (the last person to photograph John Lennon, 5 hours before he was killed).

Almost immediately, the person talking to her said goodbye, and she turned to me. Oh my god. There was a second where she just stood there. I had thought about seeing her from a distance at my desk earlier in the day. Now I was about one foot from her, facing her as she waited to see if I was actually going to try to strike up a conversation.

Hi Ms. Leibovitz . So Nice to meet you. (shaking hands) I love your photographs. (Thank you, Thank you) How do you capture such intimate moments with your subjects?

oh, no. I had the whole speech written out like it was spoken from a cue card. she’d hate it! but no, instead, she addressed the question like she had heard it before, but not so much to be bored by it yet.

Things she mentioned, not quoted though: She appreciated that I thought her photos captured a natural state of being. She disagreed that her subjects were all so natural — stating that some of the most beautiful photos she has taken, in her opinion, were of subjects who appear unnatural (she mentioned a name I forget).

Overall, I think we talked for about 2 minutes. Eventually, someone she knew and liked more than me came over and stole her away. But I had a moment to ask her whatever on Earth on wanted… Something not even most paparazzi can say.

Lindsay even pointed out that I had her “captivated” for a minute there.

It was a good night, to say the least.

I’m looking forward to Thursday, when Lindsay and I will attend the Historic House Trust dinner with the mayor of NYC. Hi Bloomie. yay!

One of the Top Ten, at least

June 9, 2008

One of my favorite things in the whole world is art — watercolor painting is probably my favorite. Neck to neck with photography. 

I got my paints out tonite after I thought 2 episodes of Melrose Place on DVD was enough for one sitting.

From a Brooklyn Window.

I just did this one as quick reintroduction to painting. It was only a quick one, took about 15 minutes, but it felt great to slop on colors where I want them and pull dark lines of ink across the page again. With John Mayer or whatever other CD I’m obsessing over at the moment.