Monday, October 12, 2009

The Crazed Beauty That Is New York City


Today could have been a lazy Sunday, but my life often refuses to let me be lazy. Without giving much thought other than I wanted a way to guarantee I would be awake and would do things today beyond sit on my couch, I agreed to meet people at 9 a.m. this morning in Chelsea to help renovate the location of a future Krav Maga school. It’s tough enough for me to get to work by 9 a.m. on a weekday, but I was determined to get there on time and I actually got there a few minutes early.


From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I helped with renovations. I bundled cardboard, painted window frames with primer, hauled pipes and even a few radiators and finished scraping paint from some stubborn metal.


That ended, I walked from 25th St. to 42nd St. to see if Inglorious Basterds was playing at a reasonable time. On my way, a man outside the New York Times building handed me a pamphlet that informed me the world would end on Oct. 21, 2011. That’s good information to have, I think. I know it’s popular now to believe that the world is going to end sometime in 2012, but those predictions are based on the Mayan calendar. The pamphlet I received was based on the Christian calendar, and also predicted that the rapture would happen May 21, 2011. So if true, we’ll have five months without Christian fundamentalists before the world ends. That’s good news.


I sat at a table in a pedestrian mall area of Times Square to eat a snack while I waited for the movie to start. A guy was interviewing people with a video camera to make a funny video for his brother’s wedding. Two attractive young women were approaching people to interview for a local TV news show also.


While I was heading to the theater, I first passed by photographers snapping photos of a married couple in Times Square. Professional photographers were snapping away furiously, but then tourists got into the act as well. I walked around the mess and headed towards 8th Ave.


Outside a hotel on 8th Ave., people were rushing to get autographs of what appeared to be professional athletes of some kind, based on the glimpses of the photos they were signing. The athletes were dressed in expensive-looking suits that you could tell they loathed wearing, and they were getting into a large chartered bus. An earnest autograph seeker told me that these were the Anaheim Ducks, who were in town to play the New York Rangers. I don’t know why they needed a chartered bus—you would think professional athletes could handle the nine blocks from 43rd St. to Madison Square Garden on 34th Street, but I guess not (indeed their sloth proved revealing, as they fell to the Rangers, 3-0).


Also, I walked through a large street festival that was taking place on 8th Ave. between 42nd. St. and 59th St. These street festivals in New York are pretty much all the same now. There are lots of food stands, t-shirt stands, sunglasses stands, and other stuff that you can get just about anywhere any time already.


Inglorious Basterds is an excellent film. When it was over, I decided to head to Barnes & Noble near Lincoln Center to shop for books. Near Lincoln Center, I came across the closing night of the New York Film Festival. A red carpet and a small throng of fans and photographers and a small but sizable throng of security awaited the arrival of Penelope Cruz, whose new film was to be shown there at the festival.


Just another slow Sunday in New York City.

3 comments:

Laura said...

The San Genarro festival includes many, many stands selling zepoli, which you can't typically get on any random day.

Also, I'm impressed that you brave Times Square. I think Times Square is the pit of Hell. If Hell exists, I'm certainly going there--and I'm sure that I'll be stuck for eternity among Japanese tourists with their video cameras on one side of me, and obnoxious teenage theatre-goers from Alabama on the other.

And finally, I'm going to be in town in early November, so we should grab a drink while I'm there.

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