Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Manhattan Project

Tomorrow I journey through the fires of hell itself (that would be a flight from Detroit straight to Newark) and emerge from there in the city that gave me Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Gossip Girl. It'll be my first trip to New York, so like my arrival in San Francisco last spring, I'll celebrate by dragging my luggage around for a few hours getting my bearings and finding the place I'm staying at (while I wait for my gracious host to get out of class). I'm expecting to be overwhelmed right from the get-go, except wait, I'm flying into Jersey, so no. But I'm sure it won't take long for me to entirely lose myself in the city. Providing for that, I've made few firm plans. The possibilities seem limitless, but here's a few things I'm sure to look into.

1. Visit NYU. That's my excuse for going in the first place, so I'm certainly making time for this. I'll be scouting out my number one choice for grad school, which I'm looking forward to almost as much as the East Village itself.

2. The New York Film Festival. This I'm already overwhelmed by. I initially hoped to just grab tickets for Broken Embraces and The White Ribbon, Pedro Almodovar and Michael Haneke's new films respectively, but the lineup for these final few days of the festival is fairly exceptional. I've already got my ticket for Bong Joon-Ho's Mother, and it's going to be hard to pass up the chance to see films by Jacques Rivette (Around a Small Mountain) and Claire Denis (White Material) on the big screen. Even Catherine Breillat's new film, Bluebeard, has got my attention, though after seeing Fat Girl this spring, she's still stuck on my timeout bench for a while. With all the fancy art-housing that I'm bound to take part in, you can bet I'll have something to report here early next week. And for the first time, I won't have to wait around for these to never actually open in Michigan. Hooray for being ahead of the curve!

3. Broadway. How can't I at least try to see something while I'm around? And I've narrowed it down to two, Next to Normal or God of Carnage. Probably Thursday night, because that looks all clear for now. I'm strongly leaning toward God of Carnage on account of the cast. Jeff Daniels, James Gandolfini, Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Harden - I'm there. Well, not yet, but with any luck, then absolutely.

4. Museums. MOMA, maybe the Natural History Museum. Or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We'll see. I've really fallen in love with art museums lately so I'll be doing at least one of them.

But I'm resisting planning as much of this as I can. I'd really rather just immerse myself in the city. That way I can be free to do some shopping, restaurant and bar sampling, and celebrity stalking. And then I'll file a full report right back here. It'll at least be more culturally relevant than this lame declaration of my agenda.

Cheers! Be back next week!

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