This is my fifth year attending the Tribeca Film Festival, in New York City. This film festival was started as an effort of the film community(specifically Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenberg) to help the rebuilding of lower Manhattan after the devastation of 9/11. I fell in love with lower Manhattan when my daughter attended NYU 1998-2002. Cities can be pretty hostile, but I've always been so impressed with this area and it's residents. I feel safe, there's a lot to do and the food is great! When I came back to the area in October and November of 2001, the area was a shell of what I had seen in August. The quiet and ash were sobering. The progress here has been amazing. Though the site of the towers is still pretty much a hole, the area around it is alive. People fill the shops, parks and restaurants. There is new construction everywhere, and I notice new growth and strength every year I have returned.
The film festival itself has evolved. The panels are varied. And the programmers try to get the latest and greatest in documentary, short and independent film here. They do a good job. One thing I notice, is that many of the artists attached to the films either live in NYC or are happy to come here. The Q&A sessions after the films usually are well attended.
I arrived in Manhattan mid-day, got rid of my luggage and the car and headed to the box office. It felt good just to be walking down the sidewalk, and I reoriented myself to where the coffee shops, restaurants and delis are. After my tickets were in hand I checked into the hotel and went off in search of lunch. Up West Broadway there is a funny little place called Edwards that makes a tasty turkey burger and delightful Bloody Mary.
Off to the film, The Education of Charlie Banks (more on this later) and on the way home I stopped at the pizza place and picked up a slice of lasagna pizza (yum). A good start to the 2007 experience.