Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Let's do this Memento style

First, an apology for not being a good little blogger. I opined a while back that regularity was more important than quantity in blogging, and I've been failing on both counts lately (not to mention quality). I don't have an excuse other than my work getting in the way of everything. Maybe I should take up on my girlfriend's offer to ghostblog. It's not that hard, really - just whine a lot about tourists, Bush, the current state of music and anything above 14th Street, throw in a bunch of "shit", "fuck" and "motherfucking shit", and you're good.

But enough mea culpaing. Let's wrap up the weekend, last things first, Memento style.

I'm sure my non-NY friends hate when I talk like this, but every now and then, I get these "Fuck, I'm glad I live in New York" moments and watching the Fourth of July fireworks from my apartment rooftop was exactly that.

Too lazy to go out to the river and fight the masses, Maureen and I headed for the roof, which proved to be the perfect vantage point for watching shit get blow'd up. Okay, not really perfect, what with taller buildings around us and all, but good enough. The great thing about living downtown is that the East River is to the east and south, so you get this odd setup of half the people facing one way to watch the fireworks and the other half facing the opposite direction.

Anyhoo, I discovered my roommate told me about a hidden rooftop on top of the regular rooftop. Score. We got a great view of the Midtown fireworks with THOR providing a not unwelcome obstruction. So yeah, even my building didn't give me the most ideal viewing angle, the setting - LES tenements all around, sparklers going off other rooftops, etc - made it a "Fuck, I'm glad I live in New York" moment. Unfortunately, it was also one of those moments I wished I had a camera.

Earlier, caught the Matador Records free show at Battery Park but by the time we got there around 4 pm, the joint was ppppppacked and we just couldn't be bothered to get in. We ended up chilling out on the lawn behind the stage while Malkmus played. At this point though, we were absolutely pooped and headed back to the apartment before long.

What's Fourth of July without the Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan's? To not attend would have been practically treasonous.

Okay, I have to complain here - by the way the event was set up, it was clear that this was for the benefit of the TV audience and the live audience was simply there to provide the atmosphere. The stage was set too low for anyone who wasn't in the first few rows to see, and worse, TV cameras took up the entire area directly in front of the stage. It didn't help that by the time we got there, full hour and 50 minute before the contest, the place was packed. We ended up following most of the action through the commentary and shots off my digital camera.

Still, nothing like good, over-the-top theatrics to kick off Fourth of July, and the heat could have been much, much worse. Takeru Kobayashi won for the 5th straight year albeit with just 49 hot dogs in 12 minutes, 4 and a half short of the record he set last year. Still, it was another triumph for us smallish Japanese dudes - crashing your national holiday since 1997.

And the rest of the weekend:

  • I usually can't stand areas with high concentrations of tourists but I'll make an exception for Brooklyn Bridge. I don't think I'll ever get tired of walking the bridge.

  • Not sure if I could ever live in Brooklyn Heights or DUMBO though - once you get over the pretty brownstones and the cobblestone streets, the neighborhoods don't really offer much.

  • Almodovar's Bad Education. Hmmm. Yeah.

  • So before making the walk down Centre St to the bridge, we make our obligatory stop at the corner bakery. Except there's a dude with a walkie talkie blocking our way. Bastards. Turns out, they're shooting 16 Blocks and the block on East Broadway between Rutgers and Allen is one of the 16. No Bruce Willis sighting, but there was fake rain all over the street and Mos Def chilling in the tent. Of course, I do the nerdy thing and get a picture of Mighty Mos.

  • I know, I know, LES gets film shoots all the time, but they tend to happen more above Delancey St. We don't get too many famous folks in the stinky end down here.

  • Life Aquatic - is there a film that is any more infuriatingly disappointing?

  • Anyway, I'm going to get back to a more regular posting schedule soon enough. Till then, um, hold tight.

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