Movie in the Park

Monday, July 11, 2005
Last night, on a beach towel, with a bottle of red wine, cheese and crackers, and Mike and Ikes, me and two girl friends and thousands of strangers watched the Fred Astair, Ginger Rodgers film The Gay Divorcee in Bryant Park. It was really cute and the dancing of course amazing and beautiful, although I like them in Top Hat better "Dancing Cheek to Cheek."

Every Monday, Bryant Park, just between Times Square and Grand Central plays a film on their big screen near the large lawn behind the New York Library. The lawn opens at 5, so I briefly snuck out of work and walked the two avenues over to the park and waited around the square lawn with a hundred of other eager visitors. They kept counting down the minutes over a microphone, going "The lawn will open in 5 minutes, please do not run, there is plenty of lawn for everyone." Then 2 mins, and when she said, "Please do not run, the lawn is now open." Everyone ran to claim a spot. I got a great area right up front, underneath the screen. I laid down my towel and my friend came to relieve me while I headed back to work for another hour before joining her and my other friend.

We picked a really hot day to be out there, but it was still nice, mugginess and all. The bottle of Merlot, I'm sure helped make us more chill too. As the sun set, a constant stream of people trotted on our towels to find any corner of grass still available. Behind the screen the Verizon sky scraper looms overhead, making a sharp contrast between the cozy picnics in the park and being in Midtown Manhattan. It's really bizarre, but in a good way.

Last year, we saw the Bogey/Bacall flick, The Big Sleep (although I had seen it a dozen times before). HBO sponsors the series and always shows a Loony Toons cartoon before the real film, it's pretty cute. Later after each dance scene, everyone would clap, as well as each time Fred or Ginger entered the screen. It's fun to watch the older movie especially, because there's always that unexpected laughter from innuendos that were not intended when they made the film but are present now in todays pop-culture.

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