8.31.2007

ONE DAY, ONE DING

I told you that bad things happen when I drive.

Here's the beautiful 2006 Chrysler Sebring convertible that I rented on Tuesday in Orlando.


And here's the beautiful scratch that I put in it on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, where I am visiting my parents.

And here's the car that I mistakenly scratched.

Luckily for me, the owner of the other car didn't make a big deal about it.

Thanks Dad!

8.30.2007

MY CARBON FOOTPRINT GETS TEMPORARILY BIGGER

Yesterday I rented a car and drove from Orlando to my parents' house in Port St. Lucie. This is significant for two reasons:

1) I hate driving
2) The last time I drove in Florida I got into an accident. That was in 1994.

After I finished working I visited the Enterprise Car Rental counter at the Shingle Creek Reort. I asked how much a compact car would cost to rent.

"It's $31.99 per day," said an enthusiastic young woman wearing a name tag that read "Maria."

"Okay," I answered. "Can I get one?"

"Well, no because we don't have any," said her older, male co-worker. "But we can can give you a mid-size car, a Chrysler Sebring convertible."

"Don't convertibles have a roof made out of fabric?" I asked. "If you get into an accident I bet a fabric roof doesn't protect your head very well."

"Are you planning on getting in an accident?" the guy asked.

"No, I'm not planning on it. But I am planning for it," I answered. "I believe in thinking ahead. So, do you have any cars that have a roof?"

"Not really," Maria answered.

"Not really?" I replied. "There are really only two possible answers to that question, and 'not really' isn't one of them."

"No," Maria said. "We don't. We have the Chrysler Sebring Convertible. It's a very cool car!"

"Look," I said. "I live in New York City. I have never owned a car in my entire life. I really don't even want to rent a car, but I'm here in Florida and my parents are old and if I don't visit them and -- God forbid -- something bad happens to them, then I'm a all of a sudden I'm a terrible person. It's not fair but that's the way it is. So can I get the convertible for $31.99?"

"Actually it's $36.99." Maria answered.

"I know, you said that," I replied. "But why did you even bother to tell me how much a compact car costs when you don't have any compact cars? You should have just told me a compact car costs $36.99 and given me the convertible and hoped I wouldn't realize that it had no roof. I mean, after all, it's not like my hair is going to get messy."

This went on for a good half hour, at which point Maria walked me outside and put me in my 2006 Chrysler Sebring convertible.

"Be careful out there," Maria said, as I was pulling away. "But remember, if you hit anybody, insurance will cover it."

Now that's what I call an inspirational pep talk.

I will be wearing a helmet just in case.

8.29.2007

GOOD ADVICE FROM A BIG TV STAR

Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with Janet Hubert, who was a guest speaker at the pharmaceutical meeting I was working on.

You might recognize Janet as Will Smith's Aunt Vivian from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or from numerous other guest starring roles on TV sitcoms and dramas. She was also a Broadway singer and dancer and a member of the original New York cast of Cats.

The most important thing Janet told me yesterday: stop drinking so much Diet Coke! Apparently its slowly rotting my bones. I promised her I would. Then today I drank about a gallon, because I am an addict.

Can you go to rehab for Diet Coke addiction? You probably could, but the "so what are you in for?" conversation with other rehabbers might be kind of embarrassing.

Anyway, Janet Hubert is a very nice lady. Here's a picture of us:

And Janet, I promise I'm gonna quit before I end up as a gelatinous bowl of human goo. I promise!

8.28.2007

MY TV DREAMS COME TRUE

I'm in Orlando right now working on the production of a pharmaceutical training meeting.

The event is at a brand new hotel called the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, a huge convention and meeting facility that opened less than a year ago.

I usually don't like traveling for work, but this time is an exception.

It doesn't matter to me that the hotel has a world-class golf course, or 450,000 square feet of convention facilities or four different pools. What makes the Rosen Shingle Creek special is Turner Classic Movies.

Yes, in 17 years of traveling for work on business, Shingle Creek is the first hotel I have ever stayed at that carries my favorite cable TV channel. After work tonight I plopped on my huge, comfortable bed, turned on the 52-inch LCD monitor and watched The Bishop's Wife, a 1948 comedy with Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.

Over the years I've complained repeatedly to the management about the lack of TCM in hotels that cater to business travelers. No one has been able to give me a straight answer why the major chains will carry worthless cable networks like the Lifetime Movie Channel but not TCM.

Maybe they think that those of us who travel for work would rather watch movies with Tori Spelling than Loretta Young. Wrong.

I've been here since Saturday night and I've kept my TV on TCM 24/7. There were a few minutes last night when I switched to another channel. Because, in addition to the classics, Shingle Creek also offers another type of movie that I enjoy watching when I travel.

But those movies cost $14.95 and they usually feature actresses a lot younger than Loretta Young.

Gary Cooper, Loretta Young and William Demarest in "Along Came Jones" (1945).

8.26.2007

RHAPSODY IN (JET) BLUE

On Saturday night I was scheduled to fly from Newark to Orlando on Jet Blue at 6:35 PM.

I arrived at the gate unusually early - just after 5 PM - and I discovered that all Jet Blue flights (including mine) were delayed. They didn't tell us why they were delayed. They just were.


To soften the blow, America's favorite discount airline distributed complementary snacks to irate passengers in the terminal. Actually, "distributed" is not the best choice of words.


They took cardboard boxes of Terra potato chips and generic animal crackers, tore off the tops and left the open cartons on a plastic folding table, along with a case of room temperature Diet Coke.

Everyone knows that Jet Blue fliers love a good bargain. But do you know what they love even more? Free snacks and warm soda!

Who says Jet Blue isn't classy?

Thanks Jet Blue!

8.24.2007

WAY TO REPRESENT!

Personally, I would have gone with untucked.

8.21.2007

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

When I started previously owned two years ago I had one goal: to become a published writer.

I spent Year One of the blog writing every day, training myself to find stories, refine my voice and meet deadlines. Then last summer I took an intensive writing workshop to push my game to the next level.

In the year since I've been published nearly fifty times, mostly in New York City weeklies like The Villager, Downtown Express and Chelsea Now. But I knew that I had a potential treasure trove of content that had first appeared right here, that could be repurposed for other venues.

Now that has happened. I have a story on a new website called The Peeq.

The editors describe the site as a "community where like-minded adults learn from and contribute to a shared philosophy that dares us to explore the quirky, humorous, embarrassing and sublime sides of sex."


My story is called The Hair Down There and it's equally humorous and embarrassing. And, of course, it's about sex. But even more significant, it's a combination of two pieces that I originally wrote for the blog.

The editor of The Peeq is a girl I interviewed for one of my newspaper stories. Even though those stories don't pay much, they've been invaluable for me in terms of building relationships and confirming my belief that I could make writing my career. And this sale is a big step in that direction.

If you'd like to read my first-ever published personal essay click here.

But be warned: it's a story for adults -- but not for the few adult members of my family that still read previously owned!

I'd really like to avoid any more awkward holiday dinners.

8.20.2007

TWO WEEKS, TWO COVER STORIES

My story on the campaign to save the Mets Home Run Apple is on the front page of the current edition of The Villager!

This is my second front page story in two weeks!


They even used the picture I took at the Mets game. I am quite the photo journalist, no?

Chelsea Now picked up the story and ran it this week, as well. (Sadly, I only get paid once.)

You can read it here.

8.18.2007

FIRE NEAR GROUND ZERO

At about 3:30 PM on Saturday, the Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan caught fire.

The building is situated across the street from the site of the former World Trade Center, an area commonly known as Ground Zero.


The 40-story structure, vacant since September 11, 2001, was in the process of being demolished, floor-by-floor.

Demolition has proceeded slowly, due to the discovery of human remains from the World Trade Center, and the presence of hazardous materials, like asbestos.


3:50 PM - I notice the fire from the street.

3:51 PM - The flames are visible on the 20th floor.

3:55 PM

4:01 PM - 9/11 Conspiracy protesters are already on the scene,
with makeshift signs and printed brochures. His sign read "Why Doesn't it Collapse? WTC7.net" (click here to visit his site.)

4:06 PM

4:35 PM - Firefighters visible on construction scaffold
ladder a few floors below.

5:10 PM - The fire appears to be out of control.


5:15 PM - My last picture

I left the area and returned more than three hours later. By then, all surrounding streets had been closed, fire trucks were all over the neighborhood and small patches of flame were still visible in the upper floors of the building.

Tragically, two New York City firefighters lost their lives fighting this blaze.


8.17.2007

VIVA ELVIS!

Last night, I honored the memory of Elvis by enjoying his favorite delicacy - a Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich! And what better place to enjoy a PB&B than Peanut Butter & Company -- a peanut butter emporium on Sullivan Street in The Village!

Everyone knows that Elvis enjoyed his trans fats. But The King's version of the PB&B is a heart attack on a plate. Peanut Butter & Co. even commemorates it with a retro recipe mounted on the wall.

Peanut Butter & Co. has a version of Elvis's favorite that is far less suicidal, but equally tasty. They call it The Elvis. And last night I enjoyed one, in honor of The King.

Elvis liked his PB&Bs fried. I got mine toasted (on whole wheat), because I'd like to make it past the age of 42.

Peanut Butter & Co. adds honey to their version which makes the whole sandwich taste sweet and occasionally drips on your fingers. It's messy but good!

Here's a tip: don't try to talk to someone (in my case, Maggie, who was acting as photo journalist) while eating a PB&B.

Everything comes out sounding like, "Mmmmpph mmphh fummph!"

If you love Elvis -- and spending $7 for a peanut butter sandwich -- why not visit Peanut Butter & Company this weekend for your own Elvis memorial?

Just make sure you have a defibrillator close at hand!

8.16.2007

HAPPY ELVIS DAY!

All day long, Turner Classic Movies will be honoring the memory of Elvis Presley, who left the building for the final time 30 years ago today.

Join me for a double feature of Jailhouse Rock tonight at 8 p.m., followed by the all-time pop culture classic Viva Las Vegas (co-starring the sexxxy Ann-Margaret) at 10 p.m.

For more info click here!

Clarification: When I say "join me" I'm not actually inviting you to come to my apartment. It's not that I don't like you, it's just that there's really not enough room at my place for the millions of people who read the blog. But I'll be watching, and so should you.

ELEVATOR SMACKDOWN

I challenged a guy to a fight in the elevator at work today.

I work in an eleven-story office building served by three small, slow elevators. Today one of the three elevators broke down. This resulted in some short tempers amongst the workers of the building, which I experienced first hand.

At lunchtime I waited forever for the elevator on the 9th floor. As I chatted with two co-workers the elevator finally arrived. It was crowded, enough so that I might have let it pass under normal circumstances. But with the building's elevator service reduced by one third, I decided to get on. I pushed into the tight center of the car. My two friends briefly attempted to get on too.

Next to me I heard a guy groan audibly. He looked to be about thirty. My co-workers changed their mind and decided to wait.

"Thank you," the guy snarked, in a bitchy tone.

The doors closed and re-opened on the 8th floor, also our floor. Two other co-workers surveyed the elevatory landscape, and decided to push on, as I had done.

"Oh come on," my bitchy friend said, as he and the fat chick standing next to him looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

The doors closed again and opened on the 7th floor. An older woman attempted to get on, and the people near the door attempted to make room.

"Please," the guy said. "Just wait for the next one."

The old lady slinked back as if she had been fired from the elevator.


"Thank you," the guy snarked, as he and his chubby friend did that "I can't believe how stupid everyone is but us" head shake. I had officially had enough of these two idiots.

"What are you, the elevator cops?" I said, so that everyone could hear me.

"Excuse me?" the guy sneered.

"Who put you in charge of the elevator?" I asked.

"Do I know you?" he replied.

"Nope," I said. "I don't know you and I have no interest in knowing you."

"Then why are you talking to me?" he asked.

"Let's continue this conversation outside," I said.

"No, you can continue the conversation outside, by yourself" he replied. At that moment a co-worker of mine spoke up.

"Why do you gotta be an asshole?" my older, tougher colleague asked rhetorically, as the guy behind me fell silent. "He's trying to make light of a tough situation and you gotta be an asshole about it."

For the next five floors, that elevator was a hotbox of awkward silence. The doors finally opened and we all poured out into a lobby cluttered with elevator repair guys. By the time I got outside, I had lost track of the guy I had challenged. Then I saw my co-worker.

He stuck out his hand, and I slapped it, like a ballplayer who had just scored a run. We didn't say anything to each other, but we didn't have to. Something tells me that, if anything had gone down, he would have had my back.

Then I went and got some lunch.


8.15.2007

PHIL RIZZUTO (1917-2007)

A co-worker told me today that he was a fan of both the Mets and the Yankees.

"Not possible," I said. "That's like saying you're a fan of both the Israelis and the Palestinians. You gotta pick a side."


When I was growing up in New York in the 1970s, you had to make a choice: Mets or Yankees. Often the choice wasn't yours. If you were born into a Yankee family, you became a Yankee fan. And if your family was filled with Mets fans, you were going to be a Mets fan -- for better or for worse.

And in the case of Mets fans, it was usually for the latter.


Love for a New York baseball team is thrust upon you, like greatness. And once you're in, you're in for life.

Being a Mets fan has always been a challenge, but never more so than in the late '70s. The Yankees dominated New York sports, and the Mets were terrible. Truly, pathetically awful. And the better the Yankees played, the more I hated them.

But there was one Yankee I always loved: Phil Rizzuto. I didn't know him as a player (he got his start as a Yankee in 1941). I knew him as a broadcaster. At a time when going to a Yankee game seemed sacreligious to me, watching a Yankee game on TV somehow seemed okay, because of Rizzuto.

For generations of New Yorkers, Rizzuto's often-imitated cry of "Holy cow!" will always remind us a of time before steroids, hundred-million dollar contracts and luxury boxes.

Phil Rizzuto was old school New York baseball at its finest.

Phil Rizzuto aka "Scooter"

8.13.2007

MORE FAME FOR ME...BUT WHERE'S THE FORTUNE

My yo-yo story got a link from New York Magazine's food blog Grub Street. And also on eater.com.

And my upcoming story on the endangered New York Mets home run apple received a mention on savetheapple.com

Even though I got scooped by The New York Times on Sunday, I'm hoping that my Mets story will still be in this Wednesday's edition of The Villager. I worked really hard on it all weekend long, while the rest of you were relaxing and going to the beach or something.

So now that I have all this fame, I guess the fortune can't be far behind. Right?

I'M FRONT PAGE NEWS!

Let me congratulate myself on my first-ever appearance on the front page of a publication.

My yo-yo story appears on the front page of the current issue of Downtown Express here in New York City.





You can read it here.

8.11.2007

A CURMUDGEON GOES TO THE MOVIES

Yesterday morning I was in a co-worker's car, driving in the rain to New Jersey for a meeting at a pharmaceutical company.

"So what are you doing this weekend?" Dan asked me.

"Well, Film Forum is running one of my favorite movies," I said. "'Rosemary's Baby.'"

"'He has his father's eyes,'" my colleague said spookily, quoting the iconic line from the 1968 classic's final scene.

Dan, a forty-ish gay man, then went on to tell me that he has stopped going to the movies in recent years, after a lifetime as a movie lover.

"I'm tired of the people who treat movie theaters like their living rooms," he complained.

"Me too," I agreed. "But Film Forum is different. The audiences are practically reverent."

This is the great debate of modern movie-going. As TV sets have gotten bigger and better, and more great movies of all types have become readily available for home viewing, has the theater-going experience become obsolete?

I don't really go to see mainstream movies in theaters, for all the reasons that Dan outlined (talking, crying babies, ringing cellphones, etc.) I have had so many awkward exchanges, arguments or near-fights with inconsiderate audience members over the years. And with the quality of Hollywood's output falling as the prices continue to rise, I choose to feed my movie-going fix at the theaters like Film Forum.

Sure, most of the classics that programmer Bruce Goldstein presents on Film Forum's repertory screen are available on DVD. But there is something special about seeing a great old movie on a big screen with a room filled with people who really appreciate it. It's the closest thing to a religious experience that I've been able to find since I retired as an altar boy in 1982.

So it was with great anticipation that I went to see "Rosemary's Baby" last night.

I arrived early to secure my favorite seats, three rows from the back of the theater. And my girlfriend Maggie joined me soon after. As we sat in the darkened theater, I heard a ruckus near the door.

"We need twelve seats all together," a twenty-something guy said, as he barreled in with a large group of friends. "Let's take these back two rows."

The group loudly seated themselves and commenced to chatting, as if at a cocktail party. From what I overheard, they seemed to be part of some website on online social group that meets up to go to movies.

Personally, I think that's a great idea. Part of the fun of movie-going for me is the shared experience. At Film Forum the audience routinely claps at the conclusion of a great old classic, and it is at those moments that I feel part of something, like I am with my people.

As I departed my seat for the concession stand, I decided to give these young movie lovers the benefit of the doubt. At least they weren't wasting their money on Transformers or some other piece of assembly line dreck.

I returned to my seat with a large popcorn as the credits were beginning to roll. Ruth Gordon's name appeared on the screen, in fancy red type.

"I think she was nominated for an Academy Award for this movie," said the guy behind me to the girl sitting next to him.

I paused. It is completely unacceptable to talk during a movie, but this exchange had two mitigating factors. First, it was during the credits. Second, it was scholarly.

I decided against offering one of my patented dickish responses to loud movie patrons which include: a loud cough, a head turn followed by a steely-eyed stare and my personal favorite, "Now it's quiet time."

In the past girlfriends have chastised me for the latter statement, arguing that, in an effort to provide a solution, I become part of the problem. I have heard their constructive feedback and save the sarcastic wrist-slap for only the most egregious of offenses.

The conversation from the rows behind me lessened as the movie progressed, still occasionally audible to me but not disruptive enough to warrant action. But something else replaced the talking: laughter.

Have you ever seen "Rosemary's Baby?" If you have, you know it's one of the creepiest movies ever made. And although Ruth Gordon delivers many amusing lines in her (yes) Academy Award Winning performance as Minnie Castevet, "Rosemary's Baby" is about as far removed from comedy as you can get.

And therein lied the problem with my young fellow movie-goers. They weren't there to enjoy a great film. They were there for camp. For irony. For that kind of detached, smirky, all-knowing experience that has come to characterize young people today.

Had it been one person talking, I could have done something. But this was larger than that. This was a generational thing. I couldn't stand up and say to the entire audience, "Stop it. This isn't funny. Enjoy it for what it really is, not what you're trying to turn it into."

Of course, I could have done that. But then management may have escorted me from the premises.

So I remained quiet. And then it happened. The final, climactic scene, where Rosemary (as played by the amazing Mia Farrow) sees her demon off-spring for the very first time.

"He has his father's eyes," a voice said. But it wasn't the voice of Sidney Blackmer, the actor who played the the kindly demon Roman Castevet. It was the the asshole in the seat behind me, speaking just loud enough to obscure the original.

I held my tongue, because to do any more would have further compromised the final moments of this great film, for me and everyone else. The movie ended, the credits rolled and I stood up.

"That is such a great movie," I said to Maggie, in a voice loud enough to be heard by all those surrounding us. "But why does everything nowadays have to be a fucking comedy?"

"May God protect us all from annoying hipsters in their twenties," I added, looking directly at the guy seated behind me, and then at the girl next to him.

She looked back at me. Her mouth said nothing, but the look on her face said, "I'm sorry."


And that was good enough for me.

8.09.2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGGIE! (BELATED)

It was actually a week ago today, but it's the thought that counts!

Summer, 2001

Summer, 2007

Because anybody who would put up with me for this long deserves some credit. Or a psychiatric evaluation.

8.08.2007

BARRY BONDS IS DEAD. LONG LIVE BARRY BONDS.


Steroidal slugger Barry Bonds broke Hammerin' Hank Aaron's Major League Baseball home run record tonight, when he clubbed number 756 off Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik.

ESPN carried live coverage of the postgame aftermath, including on-camera quotes from a number of baseball legends who knocked Bonds and demeaned the accomplishment.

I'm not even a little bit of a Bonds fan, but I think the oldtimers come off as bitter babies when they slander a guy who has never been proven to have done anything wrong (however damning the outsized physical characteristics of the man may be).

We all know that Bonds is juiced, and that he probably lied about it under oath. But the substances he aledgedly used were not illegal at the time he used them. If you want to point your finger, wag it in the general direction of Major League Baseball executives who knowingly allowed the use of performance enhancing substances to grow unabated, in the service of the bottom line.

Because stronger players = more home runs. Fans love home runs and the more you give them, the more they will come out to watch. And that's what happened.

Now, let's put this behind us, get on with the game of baseball and allow Barry Bonds to take his place in the history books. Right next to the asterisk.

I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU THAT I'M A WORKING WRITER

I emailed the final version of my yo-yo story to my editor on Tuesday morning and she wrote back the following:

This is the best story I've run in all my time here. Thank you for all your work.

That was nice to hear.

Right now I am working on two pieces for the paper. The first is an interview with a Jewish Elvis impersonator who calls himself Jelvis. I interviewed him on Friday over a lunch of peanut butter and banana sandwiches (the King's favorite). I learned one thing during that interview: peanut butter and conversation are not a match made in Heaven.

The other story is about my favorite baseball team - the New York Mets.

The following is the pitch I sent to my editor. She obviously liked it because she green-lighted the story.

"Greenwich Village native fights to save a piece of New York Baseball history."

The New York Mets are moving from Shea Stadium to the brand new Citi Field after next season, and one fan is fighting to save a much-loved (and much-maligned) remnant of the soon-to-be-former home of his favorite team. Greenwich Village native Andrew Perlgut has launched Save the Apple.com, an on-line petition imploring Mets ownership to save the infamous "Home Run Apple," a rickety, dented piece of gigantic hydraulic fruit that rises out of a huge black top hat beyond the center field fence each time a Mets player hits a home run.

On Friday the AP carried a story on the petition movement and the number of signatures has jumped to more than 2000, and it keeps growing every minute.

For my story I will follow Perlgut to a Mets game, where he and his fellow Apple-lover plan to wear t-shirts, hold up signs and hand out fliers.

Also, I will speak with a curator at the Museum of the City of New York, whose fascinating exhibition "THE GLORY DAYS: NEW YORK BASEBALL 1947-1957" just opened last week and includes many rare artifacts from the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, two teams whose own stadiums were demolished when they departed New York for the west coast 50 years ago this season.

Let me know what you think!

Will

I'm going to Mets game on Wednesday night with this guy, and Maggie. Should be interesting.

8.06.2007

I'M A YO-YO

I just found out that my feature story on yo-yos is going to be the cover story in this Friday's edition of Downtown Express. (Yes, it's a slow news week.)

The impetus for the story is the New York State Yo-Yo Contest & International Yo-Yo Open, scheduled for this Saturday at the South Street Seaport.


I've interviewed a number of yo-yo champions (yes, they exist) and marketing people from yo-yo manufacturers like Duncan Toys and Yomega. I also spoke with Riad Nasr, executive chef of Balthazar, one of the most popular restaurants in New York City. In addition to being an internationally famous chef, Nasr is also a well-known yo-yo collector and enthusiast.

This afternoon I went to Balthazar for a photo shoot with Chef Nasr, who threw a few yo-yo tricks for the Downtown Express cameraman during the busy lunchtime rush. (Sadly, there was no free lunch for a broke reporter.)

I'll post a link on Friday when the story is up.

For more info on the Yo-Yo event (which sounds pretty cool to me), click here.

THE METS MAKE BASEBALL HISTORY

Congratulations to Tom Glavine, the first pitcher in baseball history to reach the coveted 300-win plateau as a member of the New York Mets.

8.05.2007

SUMMER OF CLASSIC MOVIES

This summer is great time to be an old movie buff!

Right now, Film Forum in New York City is in the midst of two great festivals of classic film. The first, NYC Noir, is a 46-film collection of some of the best, grittiest, most atmospheric depictions of the city of New York.

The second, The Silent City, is a weekly series (on Monday nights) of classic silent films set in the Big Apple. Many prime time screenings include a live piano accompaniment from Steve Sterner.

Last Monday I saw Buster Keaton's 1928 masterpiece The Cameraman with an enthusiastic crowd. During the film I heard a fair number of youthful giggles emanating from the packed audience. As I was exiting I saw a little boy, maybe ten years old, walking out with his dad.

"That was funny," he said, as he looked up at his father. "But not as funny as The General."

My heart nearly broke. Not only was this kid willingly going to see an 80-year-old movie, he was able to offer an informed comparison to another silent classic! If more kids were like that, the world would be a better place.

If you missed The Cameraman at Film Film Forum, or if you don't live in New York City (my condolences), the saints at Turner Classic Movies will be presenting an entire day of Buster Keaton films on Thursday, August 30. Not only will you get a chance to see both The Cameraman and The General (so you can make your own comparison), TCM will also be presenting some of Keaton's later work in 1960s campfests like How to Stuff a Wild Bikini and Beach Blanket Bingo.

The Keaton collection on TCM is just part of the cable network's Summer Under the Stars series. Every day in August TCM is devoting their entire schedule to one film legend - everyone from Jimmy Stewart (today!) to Elvis (on August 16, the 30th anniversary of his death).

If you love old movies, TCM is the place to be this month! And if you don't, or have never really been exposed to the classics, why not check out the schedule and sample a few titles.

And please, if I ever turn you on to a great old film, write me a message and tell me! I don't have any kids to share my love for these movie with, so you guys are all I've got!

8.03.2007

MY INTERVIEW WITH THE DUCK LADY

...is in the current issue of Downtown Express.

As my Jewish readers might say, "Why is this interview different from all other interviews?

Well, it's the first one that I've done (for print) with a non-performer. (The Duck Lady works for Special Olympics.)

And it's funny (at least I think so), which proves that real people can be funny too. It would have been funnier if my editor had not cut the last question without asking me first, but that's my problem not yours.


So read it here. Or don't. Whatever.

8.02.2007

IT'S HOT OUTSIDE, BUT IT'S COOL AT FILM FORUM

If you live in New York City and you're looking for something cool to do this summer, check out Film Forum's NYC Noir series.

Through Labor Day, my favorite movie theater will be presenting 46 gritty pulp-fests, from iconic classics like 1942's Cat People to late '70s camp like The Warriors.

So far I've seen three of the fabulous films in the series: Laura (1944), I Wake Up Screaming (1941) and the brilliantly tense Kiss of Death (1947).

A word of advice: if you plan on attending, show up early. Film Forum has been selling out every night, to the point where they've been setting up folding chairs to accommodate the huge crowds.

I guarantee you won't find a better night at the movies anywhere in Gotham this summer.

Click here for a complete schedule. And, if you come, look for me. I'll be the weird bald guy sitting alone in the back row.