seen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens NY
The current mayor of New York is Bill de Blasio. If Tuesday's primary results are any indication, he will likely get re-elected this fall. He has done a lot of good for the city, but he's far from perfect. I'll need a really compelling reason to vote for him again and at this point I don't have one.
De Blasio was originally elected on the strength of his "One New York" campaign, which he has developed into a multi-part plan designed to make the city more equitable and sustainable. It's very ambitious and progressive and forward-thinking on paper.
I'm not saying such goals are impossible to achieve. It doesn't help matters to still be part of a country currently run by a greedy, selfish, vulgar embarrassment who perverts the ideals on which America was founded on a daily basis. I believe De Blasio does the best he can.
The day-to-day reality, however, is dramatically different from the ideal. I rely on a broken transportation system slowly failing the people it serves at the expense of the auto-driving minority. Friends are being priced out of their apartments and studios as the city becomes more difficult to afford. People playing their cell phones without headphones and smoking in parks and plazas makes me believe they just don't know how to behave.
A unified New York is a nice idea, but it relies on the same people who make living in this city a back-breaking, get-on-my-last-nerve chore. I'm no different, though I try to compensate. I don't litter. I educate my friends on transportation issues in our city from time to time. I sign petitions. Once in a while I volunteer for stuff. I do what I can. I could do more.
Anyway, earlier this year, the One New York program did this promotion in which New Yorkers could choose a book to read from among five candidates. Now they've done the same for the movies. Spike Lee's 70s family dramedy Crooklyn was the winner from a field that included Scorsese's New York New York, the Gene Kelly musical On The Town, the Madonna flick Desperately Seeking Susan, and Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet. (No Woody Allen? Shocking!) I had voted for On the Town because I really wanted to see it on a big screen. I had thought Scorsese would win. Shows what I know.
Crooklyn played on Wednesday, the 13th, in theaters and outdoor venues across the five boroughs. I had thought about going to the Bronx or (gasp!) Staten Island to see it, but in the end, I simply didn't want to be hassled with the commute, especially with SI, since both venues were pretty far from the ferry terminal at St. George. The Kew Gardens crowd was fairly big, but it played in one of their smaller rooms, so maybe it only looked big.
I had seen Crooklyn several times before. How refreshing it was to watch a re-creation of a time where people interacted with each other without a cell phone in sight! Alfre Woodard looked beautiful. The brownstones of Kings County were as authentic as I remember them from when my high school girlfriend lived in one. Most of the 70s pop cultural touchstones weren't that familiar from my childhood, but I certainly remember living with a sibling and fighting with her all the time, as well as similar experiences, good and bad, with my parents. This was a good choice.
By the way, Zelda Harris, the young girl who was the focus of the movie, didn't go on to much, other than scattered TV appearances and a role in another Spike joint, He Got Game. Pity. She was good in this one.