Thursday, August 9, 2007

Twist and shout

Whew! Missed another tornado. This one bullied through parts of Bay Ridge and Sunset Park with yesterday’s storm claiming trees, cars, windows, & roofs. In Iowa, where they’re much more common, I remember the sky becoming green beforehand. Ominous as all hell, a green-colored sky.

NYCNoir double feature: The Naked City and Force of Evil, both from 1948, and both featuring on-location shooting. Force is a better movie, (the print was gorgeously restored thanks to M. Scorsese) but Naked had much more of the actual city in it and so it is a lot more fun. The opening aerial shot of lower Manhattan, before the defacement of South Street by the Ugly Glass Boxes, is astonishing. Those tall Thirties towers (40 Wall, 70 Pine, 20 Exchange…), including the old Singer Building, largest building ever demolished before 9/11, were so magnificent rising into the heavens.

Afterwards, a drink with J at Mars Bar, where he has several paintings on the wall. Who knew he had this talent? The man is entirely too modest. Someone, perhaps one of the tender bar mistresses, had taped up a pleated napkin to look like a skirt over the rear of his portrait of a woman from the back. It worked amazingly well. A nice touch: stuck to the inside of the toilet seat was a Zagat-Rated sticker. I’d say 0 for food, 7 for ambiance, 20 for the bugs (because they didn’t bite). J. told me about the time the one-eyed midget took a swing at him.
Norma Desmond, on looking at the new Times format: “I am big. It’s the newspapers that got small.”

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