Happy Weekend

July 29, 2011

Inside/Outside

July 29, 2011

If I were you and you were me, here’s what we would do this weekend:

Steve James is one of the finest filmmakers working today. Hoop Dreams was a watershed moment in documentary filmmaking and remains one of my all-time favorite movies. His new film, The Interrupters, is in theaters Friday. It’s a somber look at gang violence in the inner city of Chicago and the efforts of a group of ex-gangbangers that have made it their mission to put an end to the bloodshed. With James behind the lens, it’s all but guaranteed to move you.

If you’re hungry for more silver screen, wander over to Cinema Village and catch the documentary Sleep Furiously. I have absolutely no idea what this film is about, but this weekend, I plan to do exactly what its title suggests. (Note: I just watched a short trailer and I’m really intrigued. Now I’m watching a longer trailer and I’m even more intrigued. The music is by Aphex Twin. I think I just talked myself into seeing this film in the amount of time it took for me to write this wack-ass paragraph.)

Go to the rooftop garden of the Met. Get a drink at the bar, gawk at the absolutely bananas panoramic view of Central Park and the city below. Get another drink and catch a buzz. Check out the sculptures by Anthony Caro that are currently on display. Pretended to appreciate the artwork for a few minutes, get back in line for the bar. Think about what else you have to do today. Realize you have nothing to do because it’s the weekend. Grin.

We were from the Midwest and out West and down South and up I-95. We lived in the East Village and the West Village and Tribeca and Williamsburg and Park Slope. Some of us even lived in Harlem and Bushwick and Crown Heights. We lived in two bedrooms and three bedrooms and in studios and on couches. We lived beyond our means. We had our parents. We had friends and friends of friends and friends of friends of friends. We worked in media and finance and philanthropy and film and education and bars and restaurants. We had ideas and ideals. We were selfish and selfless and self-conscious. We wanted to be authentic and original and understood. We had screenplays and startups and clothing lines and websites. We had to go to work. We had blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter accounts and subscriptions to the New York Times and memberships to MoMa. We went to concerts and film festivals and parks and galleries and clubs and dives. We had bikes and skateboards. We took the subway to save money. We bought seven-dollar beers and twelve-dollar cheeseburgers. We had no cash. We sent texts and ignored calls. We had brunch and drinks and dates. We had an awesome time last night. We had to take the night off. We had to focus. We had ambition. We had time. We had no patience. We don’t appreciate what we have.

Belly

July 15, 2011

The subterranean vessel that hurtles me to the place that pays my rent is bursting at its soldered seams. The air is dead; breathing is counterproductive. The drab colors that splatter the interior of the car are an odious reminder that you are, in fact, inside something…something that has been ingested, regurgitated then stepped in. The lights flicker, falter and ultimately fade. A relief. At each stop, a few dour individuals muster the gall to exit the train and make their plaintive climb to…to…to whatever it was they climbed towards yesterday and the day before and the day before that.

And for a moment, there is space. That is, until more bodies squeeze their way into the train’s already distended belly. The disembodied conductor issues an unintelligible command through bands of rust and static and we brace ourselves as the train lurches once again to resume its crash course with punctuality. Next stop could be oblivion for all we know. As long as we get there on time. Toes are stepped on, elbows knock. We sway like kelp as the train caroms around turns. Frustration is seething yet no one is breathing.

We screech to a halt. The doors groan and we are released, like fish from a net, into one of the city’s major chambers. Confusion and commotion abound on the platforms and in the tunnels. Anxious faces see other anxious faces jostling and they begin jostling too, but they are not quite sure for what or in which direction they should be jostling. This only makes them more anxious. Teeth clenched, I break through. I reach a set of steps that will lead to the surface: a jagged labyrinth of concrete and glass that unfolds in ferocious majesty as if dropped haphazardly from above. I begin climbing to…to…to whatever it is I climbed towards yesterday and the day before and the day before that…

Blank City

April 7, 2011

Saw the premiere of Blank City at IFC tonight. Makes me want to go create shit. Or destroy shit. Or create shit then destroy it.

I have to ask: Does anyone else get a panic attack when they receive the New Yorker in the mail each week? I mean, seriously. It’s Sunday night, and I’m barely through Goings On About Town, when BAM, there it is in my mailbox on Monday, in all of its tri-columned glory with a tongue-in-cheek/politically aware/culturally savvy/artistically tasteful cover to boot. You see, when I open my mailbox on Monday’s, my palms start sweating. It’s like I haven’t finished reading the book for which I’m supposed to be turning in a book report.

Note to Conde Nast: slow down. We get it, you guys are smarter than all of us and you employ the best writers of our times, but it’s no fun for anyone when I haven’t had the chance to read your scathing review of The Adjustment Bureau before the next copy arrives in the mail. I’m a busy guy and I try to read other shit too. So I end up speed reading through half of your magazine, particularly Talk of the Town, which for better or worse, is my primary source for consuming world news. So excuse me for my ignorance when at a party I mistakenly claim that the Supreme Court Justices are rioting in Tunisia to protest Hugh Hefner’s wedding. But I know I’m not the only one that’s behind and I’m relieved when I see other people on the train straining to finish the issue from two weeks ago. Suckers.

Don’t get me wrong, the articles are fascinating. I love reading about Barry Bonds’ perjury, and the corruption of the Kabul Bank and Turkish soccer hooligans. But you seriously can’t expect me to keep up with several 15 page features each week. Can’t you just condense that shit? Or publish bi-weekly? Or make a clif notes version? Take a think on that New Yorker, I think you’d ease the stress of a lot of your readers. In the meantime, you’ll have to excuse me. This week’s feature is about Aziz Ansari, and I think he’s hilaaaarious.

Weekend

November 19, 2010

It’s Thursday. That means it’s almost Friday. That means it’s almost the weekend. That means you should listen to Weekend. They’re from San Francisco. The song is called “Coma Summer.” Speaking of comas, Four Lokos are banned in NY as of this weekend. Or something. So cheers.