Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014 Day 5

This morning's walk took me up to North Moore Street for a visit to Hook & Ladder 8, filming location for Ghostbusters. I love that they have a sign of the Ghostbuster's logo hanging inside the station. At Laughing Man Coffee there was a funny Gozilla cartoon drawn on the chlak board. My day was starting on a light note. As the skies cleared, the final set up for the TFF Family Street Fair was underway and my last day in Tribeca was underway. My plan for lunch in the West Village took me to the Five Guys on Bleeker St. Upstairs, I found The Garrett but it was closed. Still fun to find this hidden gem for a future visit. A sun-drenched walk to McDougal Street and I was cozied up at the bar at The Olive Tree for quiche and salad. When I went downstairs to use the ladies room a young comic was working out some material with a manager in The Comedy Cellar. Maybe a star of tomorrow. Strolling past the street artists in SOHO, I enjoyed the creative vibe on my way back to Tribeca. Standing in line outside BMCC for the Ron Howard and Brian Williams panel I was joined by a man who had been to many events over the two weeks and had lots of stories. It made the hour wait go by quickly. The panel was so wonderful. I realized that I love Ron Howard's work more than I realized and that Brian Williams is the skilled interviewer I thought he was. Such an experience. Deciding to have dinner before I head out of the city, I go to Max for a delicious ravioli dish. A nice finish to a nice week. The drive home was easy. My house felt huge after 5 days in a tiny hotel room. Thanks to Tribeca Film Festival and all the friends and family that joined me along the way. And a big thanks to New York City for being so awesome! It was a great vacation!

Tribeca Talks: Ron Howard with Brian Williams

When I saw a Tribeca Talks panel with Ron Howard I said, "I'm in." When I saw that Brian Williams was interviewing him it was a lock. Ticket bought, I knew this would be the perfect way to close out my week at Tribeca Film Festival. I got in line an hour ahead of time at BMCC and the line was already down the block. I got my favorite seat, first row upper tier, and I was ready. Right on schedule, Brian Williams was introduced and I was thrilled to see him in person. He wasted no time introducing Ron Howard and the questions began. Every question was followed by a wonderful story. Howard was generous, relaxed and funny. Williams was obviously a fan, especially notable in his Apollo 13 references. The two men had a wonderful back and forth and at the end of the interview I felt like I had a peek inside the life and work of Ron Howard. A very satisfying event.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014 Day 4

Waking up early gave me time for breakfast at Square Diner in Tribeca before heading to Penn Station. Today's agenda began with a ride on NJ Transit to visit my family in NJ. what a pleasant train ride! My daughter and grandsons met me at the train and we walked to their Tae Kwon Do studio Watching kids from 3-5 years old go through their moves was really fun. The kids seemed happy to have an audience. We met my son in law for lunch at the Ritz Diner and spent a relaxing afternoon reading, playing and visiting. Back on the train, I decided to try to see a play, so I muscled through Times Square to TKTS. To my surprised pleasure, I was able to get a ticket to the new play All the Way with Bryan Cranston playing LBJ. What a wonderful performance! Emerging from the theater into the rain, I ducked into the subway. Back in Tribeca, most of the restaurants I tried were closed. Finally, I tried the Odeon and was successful finding something to eat before turning in. Such a great day!

All the Way

I spent an amazing day with my family today. They made me feel so happy and loved. On my way back to the city I knew I had to do something special to round out this wonderful day. Arriving at Penn Station I told myself, "you are 10 blocks from TKTS, go!" Muscling my way through the tourists in Times Square (crazy people) I arrived at the ticket booth to find no lines and a ticket to the play All the Way. A quick cocktail and visit to the ladies room at Emmit O'Lunney's and I land in row M of the Neil Simon Theater.

The play? A brilliant study of the LBJ administration from Kennedy's assassination, to his reelection. When I was a kid, my Dad brought cowboy hats back from a trip to Texas. That year this 8 year old got talked into dressing like LBJ for Halloween. I wore one of my brother's sport jackets, a tie, fake nose and the hat. Everyone knew who I was supposed to be. It has always made me feel kindred to the man though I was too young to understand his politics. Bryan Cranston gives a dynamic performance as LBJ. What a play! The staging was very creative and moved in many creative ways from scene to scene. Though it was a long play, I savored every moment, it was that good. PS Tony Award nominations are well deserved.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014 Day 3

I started my third day in Tribeca with a long walk along the Hudson in River Park. I got a little turned around when I got to Battery Park City because a lot of routes are fenced off due to construction. The area around the World Trade Center is a hive of heavy machinery, people going to work and tourists. Too congested for me, so I grabbed a coffee from a street vendor and went back to the hotel. I was meeting a friend for lunch in the East Village, so I gave myself time to wander the streets and shops of the neighborhood. Lunch at The Smith was lovely, and an easy walk across the street took us to the theater for the film Night Moves. I'm glad the director was there for the &A, because it helped me understand his intent in the pace of the film. Coming out of the theater into a sunny afternoon I decided to visit Washington Square Park and meander back to Tribeca through the West Village. A bit ambitious with the walking, I gave my feet a rest at Church Bar in The Tribeca Grand. Back at Edward's, I had a little dinner before going back to the hotel to change my shoes. I had one more thing to do, and the Barnes & Noble around the corner was just right. Picked up a few books for the kids. Back at the hotel I watched Letterman while giving myself a NY Foot Soak (warm soapy water in the hotel trash can). Another great day.

Night Moves

A film that starts out seeming to be an activist thriller, turns into a study in consequences and guilt. Night Moves is a quiet, slow view of young people with big ideas. A lot is left to interpretation which was the intention of the director. This was a film I've thought about a lot since seeing it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014 Day 2

Waking to a cool, breezy morning, I headed for the Brooklyn Bridge to combine my morning walk with a visit to my daughter and granddaughter in Brooklyn. Reading books, playing hide and seek, a visit to the pirate ship playground and lunch made for a lovely morning. A quick ride on the F train took me to the East Village for a screening of Miss Meadows. An interesting take on vigilante justice. Back in Tribeca I went into Sazon for a glass of wine and catch up on emails and messages. After a walk I still had time to kill before my next film so Ecco! was a good choice. I had a lovely chat with a mother and her daughter spending the afternoon in the city. Meeting a friend for dinner at Chelsea Pub was ideal because the food was good and we could catch up before going across the street for a screening of Loitering with Intent. Concessions were compliments of Celebrity Cruise Lines again, and almost all of the cast took part in the Q&A. My ride home on the subway was especially lively. There were a lot of young people laughing and talking, it was kinda fun. Such a nice day!

Loitering with Intent

When friends get stuck writing a screenplay in the film Loitering with Intent, they take to the country to get the creative juices flowing. At the country house they run into a cast of characters that complicate matters. A dynamic cast and a quirky story made this a fun romantic comedy. Most of the cast and the director fielded awkward questions in the Q&A. Fun film.

Miss Meadows

Vigilante justice in the hands of a sweet young woman puts a dark twist on Miss Meadows. Bit by bit we learn of her past, and watch her move forward in her life. As time goes on, her secret becomes a problem in her romantic involvement and the story takes an interesting turn. Katie Holmes gives an impressive performance. The director gave a passionate Q&A. The project has been in the works for 14 years. I liked this film.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014 Day 1

Arriving in NYC for Tribeca Film Festival is always a thrill.  For the last few years I have stayed in NJ and Brooklyn, which was great, but today it was nice to be back in the hood. It's been two years since I last stayed at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. After I unpacked, I started to take a walk, but rain sent me into Edward's for a drink and a bite to eat. A friendly bartender and a delicious bowl of vegetable and meatball soup made this break from a flash downpour just right. On my way back to the hotel I stopped into brick Oven Pizza for a slice of their lasagna pizza. I finished unpacking and headed to Chelsea for a screening of Boulevard. The woman in front of me in line was pleasant and friendly, the concessions were free courtesy of Celebrity Cruise Lines. The movie was intense and dramatic. The writer, director and actors conducted the Q&A. Coming out of the subway back in Tribeca, the new, sparkling Freedom tower greeted me. What a great start to my week in NYC.


Boulevard is the story of a man leading a quiet life with a quiet secret. He works at a bank, he is married and owns a house. A ride down the wrong street one night takes him to a world he has only dreamt of. A dangerous world. A world where he gets to admit who he really is. Not a happy story, bu the resolution works. I saw this film at Tribeca Film Festival and the director, writer and two of the actors conducted an interesting Q&A.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Big Wednesday

After seeing the documentary Milius I decided that Big Wednesday belonged on my "must see" list. I was so pleased with this film in the areas of story, cinematography and characters. The surfing footage is amazing, especially considering the technology available in the 70s.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


John Milius is the talented director known for Apocalypse Now, Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn. So many famous talking heads speak of working with him in the documentary, simply titled, Milius. Controversial and talented, a wonderful director. I watched Big Wednesday because of this documentary. Highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

I remember enjoying Anchorman. Goofy, funny and entertaining. As a rental it was very satisfying. When Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues came to theaters I thought I would pay the big bucks and see it on a big screen. As it worked out, I never found the time or motivation and the movie went on my DVD list. 20 minutes in, I realized that I was happy for the home view. Not as funny as the first, but entertaining enough, this is an OK rental. The big payoff is a celebrity-cameo-fueled battle finale.