Monday, November 03, 2008

There's a lot of charm in being in Bay Ridge at this time of year. There are things like the Ragamuffin Parade: a month before Halloween, the kids can parade around Third Avenue in their costumes, and the local high school bands play. Then there's the Third Avenue Fair on the following Sunday. The Bay Ridge Jewish Center has its flea market. then there's Halloween, and then there's the New York City Marathon, which goes through Fourth Avenue. People line up and cheer on the runners: we're actually located at the three mile point. The first year we were here, we had never seen the Marathon close up, and the portapotties were located at the corner, and it was hilarious because some of the runners couldn't stand waiting, and they would duck into the alleys and urinate. What a mess! For the last two years, the portapotties have been located two blocks up, where there's St. Anselm's Catholic Church, the Bay Ridge Jewish Center, and a vacant lot: no places to duck in! So people have to stand in line.

Last Thursday and Friday, i went to see the press screenings for the Manny Farber tribute series that's going to be at the Walter Reade Theater. Among the films: Paul Schrader's "Untitled: New Blue" and Chris Petit's "Negative Space", then Griffith's "A Corner in Wheat" and Michael Snow's "Wavelength". I was really glad to see "Wavelength" again, but it now seems so... dramatic! The little vignettes (the people moving in a closet, the man falling to the floor, the woman at the end on the telephone) are almost distracting. Ernie Gehr's "Serene Velocity" doesn't include any "human" interest, just the visual sensation of the continual oscillation of the corridor.

The next day there was "In the Street", which is now a mystery: Ed Howard is credited in the press release as the director, and that is also how the film is listed on IMDB, yet the actual credits (as they always have been) state that "In the Street" is a film by Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb and James Agee. Then there were Griffith's "The Musketeers of Pig Alley" and Raoul Walsh's "For Me and My Gal". I hadn't remembered how utterly appropriate "In the Street" was for Halloween.

Tomorrow is Election Day. We're going to try to vote early.


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