i have returned

back from the long weekend in new york. it was a lovely trip. very relaxing. which is rare for a trip to the big apple. I didn’t do much just wandered the city, caught up with old friends, saw some riotous comedy, did some shopping at the store where my friend works, ate some food, spent too much money and worked a little bit on my multiplication skills.

everyone's taken this picture

while in new york i also got the chance to catch up on some movie watching. As many of you know, I frequently choose theater going over movie going and end up seeing only a small selection of movies. This summer I remember seeing only a handful – i saw knocked up. i saw the simpsons movie. i saw transformers. – i really think that may have been it.

My bus up to new york was fast so I had some hours to kill before meeting with a friend. I decided to follow the time honored tradition of double features. I started out with Superbad. I don’t have much to say about it. Predictable, yes. Funny, mostly. I enjoyed it. a nice bit of mindlessness. My next movie was one I was excited about since seeing this preview:

And then even more excited when a co-worker couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved it. The premise sounds exciting, a musical with all Beatles music about coming of age in the 60s filmed by one of the most amazing visual theatrical/film artists alive, Julie Taymor. The movie started and I was thrown off. The film work was okay but the songs were really disconcerting. I kept wanting to hear the songs as I knew them not in a musical theaterised manor. But I stuck with it and was glad I did. Soon I was starting to hear the lyrics in a new way. I discovered pieces of the songs I thought I had known so well. And soon the film work surpassed okay. It was inventive and dazzling. She is a genius. visually. Storytelling though was a little wanting and many of the characters existed in a one dimensional way. But still worth seeing.

The book I read on the trip, not so much worth it. I had some more hours to kill and decided to spend them reading outside. (I spent a great deal of this trip alone, I decided not to jam pack it with seeing people as I usually do – I needed time to be quiet. very useful. trust me) I went to The Strand and picked out A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy. I picked it up because it was very cheap, looked like I could finish it on this trip and I had enjoyed the other Hardy I’ve read. I did most of my Hardy reading in my late teens when I was very interested in all things British and romantic. I think I probably read four of his books in one year. I hadn’t read any since but figured it was a beautiful day to sit outside imagining the bucolic setting for a tale of love.
my legs as i read on a bench Me Reading on a Bench in Union Square

Well it was bucolic. There was some love. But it felt like the equivalent of reading a beach novel. It was brainless melodrama, completely predictable and insipid. Needless to say, I was disappointed but also ended up being amused. Finding a book over a hundred years old that read like one would expect a write up of a soap opera to read. I did skip over the scholarly introduction and plan on reading that later this week. I’m hoping it will shed some light on why this book could be considered interesting or even worth reading, something to make me feel like I didn’t waste a couple hours of my life. Turns out the full text is available on-line so if you are inclined for some light reading check it out.

And while you are “checking things out” take a look at more of my trip photos here.

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