Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Report from the city that never sleeps

I'm on a tight time schedule, but I thought I'd give a little update on my trip the States. Arrived in Manhattan on Thursday after what was a lot of hanging around Newark, waiting for the luggage to feed through, and then the glamorous bus ride through a smoggy New Jersey transport way. Comforting to see 42nd Street lined from Port Authority down to Grand Central with cop cars (I'm not joking & I'm not serious about being comforted either), I was dismayed to find that it took me 10 minutes to hail a legitimate taxi. The unsolicited offer of getting in a black sedan driven by a guido with a gold chain and sunglasses was not even tempting. Maria & I had a mini-reunion in her apartment, aided with two bottles of nicely chilled rose and big dollops of electro. I managed to get to SLC campus for lunch, feeling a bit hungover. I shared the train ride with a woman from the class of '52 and another woman from the class of '87. Someone told me that my don was in a coma and I felt mournful for a few hours until I learned that it WASNT TRUE. Met more alumni from other years and was adopted by the class of '92 -- perhaps they'll let me be their mascot. I won't go into all the ins and outs of the weekend (cuz it was a long one) but the highlights were:
  • "liberating" bottles of wine from the dinner
  • being drunk and disorderly during the cabaret
  • partying old school stylee outside Westlands
  • attending two interesting lectures
  • seeing Jackie, Irina, Josh & other old friends
  • drinking cocktails outside the UN balcony
  • doing booty-shaking moves with professors and teaching older alums how to 'move it'
I was glad when the weekend was over, however, as there's only so much time that's healthy to spend in Westchester (suburbs) frankly. Yesterday, I went to see Lars von Trier's "latest comedy", "The Boss of it All". Uh, has anyone seen all the other comedies made by Lars? The champion of comedy, I think not. (ROFLMAO is the netspeak Maria inserts here.) His treatment of an IT company in Denmark was surprisingly well rooted in character-driven narrative, despite the fact that he was essentially using the deconstruction of comedy as a genre as the overall structure. Yes, that's why the man is brilliant. Sigh. I went to see it at the IFC Center, on 6th Ave & West 3rd St, which I haven't been to in a LONG TIME. They're also showing Gus Van Sant's first feature, "Mala Noche" and Hal Hartley's latest flick, "Fay Grim". So tempted, but I just have to see if I have time. Other planned activities include: German painter Neo Rauch's exhibition at the Met, some smaller exhibitions on the East Side, and the Hip Hop Film Festival currently on the go. Oh yeah, last night I met Sherman Alexie -- what a funny, "is he on speed or is he just a comedic genius" guy! He laughed when Maria explained my wearing a fake fur coat -- "as you can see, she's just stepped off the plane." Apparently, later on in the book signing, a woman came up and asked him, "Has anyone ever mistaken you for Eric Estrada?" Foreheads hit the desk -- he laughed so hard. Sherman's got this great belly laugh, it rings out throughout the whole 4th floor of Barnes & Nobles, which is no small feat if you were to see the size of the place. Link Tonight is John Updike and I'm (shh!) helping Maria out. Hence, I'm going to get my nails done, take a change of clothes and shower. I went for a run along the East River, which was fantastic. I've decided that every morning I'm going on a run in a different location. Tomorrow will either be Central Park or the West Side Highway park area. Definitely want to do a few places in Brooklyn, ie Prospect Park. Proof I was there (I'm on the right): http://www.slc.edu/alumnae/reunion/Saturday%2C_June_2.php#afternoon

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