if it’s yellow, let it mellow

4th Ave and 9th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

• The heatwave this week has certainly brought some odd people out into the streets.  “So, Barack Obama or that other guy?  You American?  You speak English?”  I was asked on the street, from a man who then ran up to a guy in a wheelchair and dove onto the sidewalk, pretending to shoot the man with a rifle.  New York.

Jenn and I saw a pretty serious screening of The Living End (1992) over the other night, but followed it up with a slightly happier screening of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull a few days later, also at BAM. The Living End was my first Gregg Araki film. The director’s introduction, plus an extended Q&A after the credits rolled, provided a full context (of the AIDS epidemic in the west coast gay community during the late 80s and early 90s). Slightly stylized violence and a large amount of character sympathy drive the film’s momentum, and keep it interesting. And yes, the token film school guy was there… with his trademark voice and that “I already know the answer to the question I’m going to ask, but I’ll ask it anyway so that other people can hear me asking it” style.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the fourth Indiana Jones, the latest Spielberg blockbuster, certainly felt successful on all fronts. Not only did the plot revolve around skulls and mummies in South America, but it also had borrowed cleverly from Dominic Sera’s Kalifornia (1993), when Indy finds himself in a fake desert town used as a nuclear testing facility (some may argue Brad Pitt’s identical discovery of the same location in Kalifornia is the only memorable moment in that film). My coworkers were right in suggesting the only lacking element of the fourth installment are the down/slow moments that can foster a little character development. Regardless, it fits right alongside the originals. I only wish I could have watched it with my siblings, like old times.

• The rolling summer thunderstorms are here. It’s not to the same voracity as down south for the most part, but the other night, Brooklyn did receive some hail.

Jenn and I saw Leticia at the newest vegan hangout, ‘Snice, in Park Slope last night — happy birthday! The cafe/restaurant has good prices, though I foolishly felt tricked into thinking my sandwich contained meat (on the no-meat front though, the meatless wings at Kate’s in the EV are good though).

• On Saturday evening, The Opera Singer & Archie threw a going away/engagement party at Justin’s loft in Bushwick. Big Joseph and James were there in great spirits, plus a bunch of other people. They head out for Illinois later in the month.

Radio Lab from WNYC (the full hour-long shows, not the 10 minute crappy ones) is a great option for helping one get through the morning office hours, in between meetings. I’m still catching up on a ton of old episodes. At moments, the two hosts become far more compelling even than Ira Glass’ praised “This American Life.

• “Who gets the girl? The guy in the SUV, or the guy on the bike? We know—at least in New York City… it’s the guy on the bike.” – Brendt Barbur (in an interview with L Magazine).

an 8-foot replica

Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Jenn apparently agreed to be photographed for public advertising several years ago, and The Opera Singer turns thirty-four.

Big Joseph and James make it out to the East Williamsburg loft.

Persepolis (directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi) is a French film set in 1980’s Iran, and is based on a series of graphic novels of the same name. It’s animated, and largely black and white, and some of the richest, most organic animation I’ve seen (well, aside from Miyazaki masterpieces, and a few early 1960’s Disney films). As with Richard Linklater’s Waking Life (2001), it probably deserves two watches, largely because it replaces Waking Life’s over-the-top monologues on cultural theory with intense, lucid, political strife, and, unless you’re fluent in French, you may miss some of the subtleties within the delicate transitions while scanning the subtitles. It’s currently playing at BAM over in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. (also, I caught Loves of a Blonde, a 1960’s Czech film by Milos Foreman, with some coworkers. Definitely felt influenced by the French New Wave).

• On the subject of northern Brooklyn, I highly recommend dining at the Roebling Tea Room in Williamsburg (yes, they rock Cuba, that Andy Heymann used to rep in like 2004). While the food isn’t the cheapest (entrees mainly in the $16-22 dollar range, as opposed to $9-14), it’s well worth it. The baked brie appetizer arrives boiling, and with a tiny salad drizzled in honey, and the half chicken has a large side of mashed potatoes. Also, the “diver’s scallops” can go well with either a draught Kronenbourg or a house white.

• You may have already caught it, but Cadence Weapon performed “Sharks” with Final Fantasy providing an incredible version of the beat. I can’t stop listening to it. Hit up Hype Machine for the track, or drop me a line and I’ll send it over. A great fusion of danceable hip hop with indie rock.

Peter Dinklage (Station Agent (2003)) was in front of me in line at lunch today at Big Dirty’s favorite, The Gracefully.

• Cheers to the intermediate days here and there where its warm enough to bike around without gloves and such. I’ll drink to that tonight. And to Brian and Rachel’s new engagement. And to my buddy Val’s recent promotion. Nice one, chief.